Extraordinary Lower School Opportunities
This is an excerpt from Head of Lower School Adele Paynter’s weekly message to JK–4 parents.
One of my favorite learning experiences in the Lower School is our third grade "Kids in Business" unit, which culminated in a giant market last Thursday. One of the most powerful ways for students to learn is to fully immerse themselves in the learning experience and to have to apply their newfound skills and knowledge in authentic, real-world ways. "Kids in Business" is the perfect example of this kind of hands-on learning, and the results were amazing!
Throughout the unit, our third graders grappled with really big concepts, ideas, and skills.They asked big questions about how the economy works, dove into inquiry work to find answers, and then put everything they learned into practice. At the end of the unit, each child worked to develop their own product, set pricing (based on cost of production, etc.), create an advertising campaign, and work on their merchandising displays. The end results were pretty professional.
The marketplace was full of creative, innovative, products that were beautifully displayed and expertly marketed. There were delectable homemade treats, doggie treats, massage booths, homemade soaps, sculptures, photographs, bookmarks, relaxation pillows, homemade bags, and so much more! I know I left with only pennies to spare and a whole bagful of beautiful artwork and delectable treats! It was inspiring to see the passion, the creativity, and the entrepreneurial spirit of our children in action.
What was even more heartwarming was listening to how students intended to use their profits. Many were donating to causes really near and dear to their hearts—from schools in need to shelters. Our students learn with their minds, hearts, and souls!
Here are some quotes from our third graders about their learning:
- “My favorite part of "Kids in Business" was designing our posters and advertising campaign. I had to think a lot about the name of my business and who I was trying to sell to.”
- “Even the Upper Schoolers bought my product! I thought that was really exciting.”
- “I told my parents they couldn’t help me; this was my business!”
- “I am looking forward to launching my own business over the summer… not just a lemonade stand, but a real business.”
- “1/4 of my profits are going to the homeless shelter because I really want to help people in need…and my dad works there.”
- “I learned so much about how difficult it is to make and display all the products beautifully.”
- “For me, it wasn’t so much about making lots of money but of being proud of my learning and of what I was selling.”
- “I had fun earning the $14 I needed to kick off my project; I did four different chores to earn the money and I donated 1/2 my profits to the American Cancer Foundation and the other half to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.”
- “This unit felt like you were in a real business! I liked selling the products…and in the end I made a profit!”