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One of the most effective ways to teach economics is through the experiential program, Mini-Society.
Another effective economics lesson associated with upper elementary social studies is a bartering session. Along with economics, it can be used with a Native American and Explorers unit that introduces the concept of trade and currency.
|Upper elementary is an
ideal time to introduce students to economic foundations. Of
course, early experience with economics will help students on the
economics portion of standardized tests, including the MEAP.
Mini-Society provides this basis in a non-threatening, experiential environment. In this program, students establish their own society, currency, businesses, and civil jobs, all while learning important economic principles.
For a full description of Mini-Society and how it was used in a fourth grade classroom, click here.
The State of Michigan requires that students be taught the relationship between the Native Americans and explorers in Michigan. A bartering lesson lesson fits nicely into this requirement, as well as fulfills several economic requirements.
Bartering between Native Americans and early American explorers was an effective way for both sides to gain valuable resources. It teaches students that needs or wants can be acquired by different means other than traditional currency.
Click here for a parent letter that explains the bartering lesson.