Teaching Economics with Children’s Literature: The Night Worker


The Night Worker written by Kate Banks and illustrated by Georg Hallensleben provides a simple and colorful description of the job of night-working engineer.

The book begins with Alex’s father taking him on a surprise nighttime visit to his job site. They see many other nighttime workers like street sweepers, policemen, and a delivery man on their way there. Upon their arrival, Alex’s father describes what he and the rest of his crew are doing, “Men are hollowing out the earth. A building is going up.” In simple language, he further describes the functions of the heavy machinery they use such as bulldozers, excavators, cement mixers, cranes, and loaders. Alex, with the help of his father, is even allowed to operate the loader which prompts him to say, “I’m a night worker, too.”

 Kate Banks‘ beautifully written and illustrated children’s book does a thorough job of teaching young students what engineers do at work and may even inspire them to take that career path later in life.

Curriculum Connections 

The Night Worker is an excellent way to help kindergarten students match a simple description of work that people do with the name of the job (VA SOL K.6). In this case, the job of a night-working engineer and construction worker is described.

Additional Resources

  • Teachers can use this website to show student’s real-life photos of some of the equipment described in The Night Worker.
  • Students will enjoy coloring the printable coloring pages of construction equipment found on this website.
  • Teacher’s may use these two websites to gain additional background information on the jobs of engineers and construction workers.
  • Teachers can use this website to expand their students’ understanding of the many other types of structures engineers help to design and build.

Book: The Night Worker
Author: Kate Banks
Illustrator: Georg Hallensleben
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: August 28, 2000
Pages: 40 pages
Grade Range: K
ISBN: 978-0374355203

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