Compose a short analysis, using specific resources, Web sites, and education theory, outlining a fully digital curriculum that you might use to teach a lesson to a select group of K-12 students. How might you guide your students through a complex, age-appropriate learning exercise using resources that are already free and readily accessible?
I think I’ll pick 5th grade and give them a project on running a business. Now don’t get me wrong, I won’t be sending them out on the streets to actually sell the stuff…..at first, anyway. We’ll do some in class work on what it takes to set up and operate a small business in a profitable manner. There are two online games that will help with this. Econedlink.org and Coolmath-games.com.
Ye Old Lemonade Stand Inc.
The first thing the children can do, bless their hearts, is get into groups and form companies. This will require a president, treasurer, secretary, marketing and PR person, and salesperson in each group. Of course this can be simplified depending on the numbers of students — or students can take multiple roles if needed.
Using the Econedlink website, we would explore all the necessary parts to a business. we would also go out and look at examples of businesses that have similar structures to what we’ll be doing. Each group will plot out a business plan, discussing costs, advertising, materials, profits, customers, and other related needs of Ye Old Lemonade Stand Inc.
Using the second site, we would play the virtual lemonade stand game and compare the results of each team, discussing ways to improve the business based o
n what we learned in the game. Charts to keep track of the progress of each team would be displayed in the classroom to keep interest and the competition going.
For the intrepid teacher, I would suggest taking everything learned in the classroom and putting it to a practical application. That’s right…creating an actual lemonade stand that the whole class would run. It could be done on campus in the lunchroom, at other school activities such as sports events or large group gatherings. Depending on the success and availability, it could be a one time event or spread out over several occasions.
The profits would be donated at the end of the lesson to a charity decided on by the students. Part of the learning process would include selecting a charity through a research project that coordinates with the business plan. The Charity Navigator is a great website that could be used to teach the children, bless their hearts, how to pick appropriate charities. The link above will take you to a site where a teacher discusses how she uses it in her teaching plans.
I’m not sure what theories I have accidentally stumbled across but, I believe practical experience — after a carefully designed lesson plan — cements the concepts and ideas that are taught.
Kids today love games on computers! I think the virtual lemonade stand would grab their attention and make learning seem fun and exciting.This is called gamification.
As the end of the semester nears, I hope you’ll continue to view this blog. I plan on writing through the next two semesters and beyond!
Thanks for tuning in!