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South Jordan Journal

South Jordan Elementary Fourth-Graders Learn Entrepreneurship Skills

Jul 30, 2016 12:48PM ● By Julie Slama

Fourth-grader Walker Woodbury made cardstock greeting cards and sold them to his classmates at South Jordan Elementary’s Economics Fair. — Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

In their economics unit, South Jordan Elementary fourth-grade students learned how to be entrepreneurs with smart marketing and business skills.
“We had students come up with a business, track their expenses, decide upon marketing and advertising, create a business plan and learn about economics,” teacher Karrie Wardell said. “It’s been three-and-one-half weeks where they’ve been learning about business, then we create a mini-society with our cumulating event, Economics Fair.”
Wardell, along with colleague Dodi Thacker, held the A track Economics Fair on June 1. Other tracks were scheduled to hold it later that month.
In the unit, teachers ensure students learn about profit and loss, supply and demand, producer, entrepreneur and other business terminology. They also suggest students research their business, offer incentives, adjust their pricing and pay a rental fee for the use of a table at the fair.
“It ties into Junior Achievement and learning common business sense. When they are at the fair, they have a chance to learn about other students’ businesses. We made sure students earned their Rocky Ram bucks by doing a good job in the classroom with their assignments, whether it’s passing out papers in their boxes or being a classroom leader. This money they can use to purchase items from other booths,” Wardell said.
Students are limited to spending $15 start-up money for their business. The businesses varied — artwork created by two boys wanting to launch a comic book series, root beer floats and a chocolate bar raffle, cookies and cupcakes, rocks and shells, candy necklaces, sports trading cards and more.
Student Desi Ford, who with Madison Goins, created a Snow Shack.
“We did snow cones since we pretty much have everything for it so all we needed to buy was material for a banner,” Desi said. “I liked learning about businesses and seeing what others did and going around buying things from them.”
Desi’s grandma, Kimberly Ferguson, was on hand to help at the Fair.
“It’s great for them to learn what runs the world — commerce and economics,” she said. “I grew up in retail and it’s good for them to understand money and how the product has value. It’s important that they work for it, that it’s not a given.”
Nearby was a pop shop, a popcorn and pop business run by Catcher Wilson, Daniel Taggart and Preston Steadman.
The idea of the business originated with Catcher, who simply said, “I like popcorn.”
The group advertised by giving out fliers that offered a 5 percent coupon. However, once they realized another business sold pop as well, they lowered their price.
“We changed our soda price since demand was low and we didn’t want to be stuck with more supply,” Daniel said. “If demand was higher, we’d raise our prices. We learned that entrepreneurs have to work hard to get their accomplishments.”
Fourth-grader Walker Woodbury made cardstock greeting cards to sell to his classmates.
“I used a rubber stamp to make cards that said thank-you, smile, love and ones for Father’s Day — I thought that would be good since it’s coming up,” he said. “I learned how entrepreneurs make a profit, but equally, I learned how to have good customer service.”
Walker offered some customers discounts or freebies when they couldn’t afford to pay full price.
“I want to make them happy and if they can’t afford it, I can give it to them. I feel if they honestly like it, they should get it. Maybe they’ll tell their friends who will come or if this were a real business, they’d come back,” he said.
Before student Logan Wilson ran his business, “Awesome Airplane Acts” where students could pay $1, $2 or $3 for different levels of activities, he learned how to make paper airplanes from a book.
“I spent three days learning and perfecting how to make different airplanes,” he said. “Then, I had to make 10 to 15 of them for my business. I learned a lot from the book on making airplanes and a lot from doing this about running a business.”
Fourth-graders Amanda Buck and Caroline Foutz made popular pencil friends by cutting fake colorful fur, gluing it to the end of the pencil and adding google eyes.
“My mom used to do these when she was a little kid and they were so fluffy and cute, we wanted to do it,” Amanda said. “We spent about $7 for the fur and over three days, we spent about 12 hours making pencils.”
Caroline said that even if they were to figure out their labor cost, she figured out they made a profit.
“In addition to earning a profit, I had fun making them and hanging out with Caroline,” she said.