Thursday, May 3, 2012

Economics: Ump's Fwat

We do a version of Mini-Society at our school where both 3rd and 4th grades participate in  setting up businesses and selling their homemade wares the last few days of school.

It is awesome!

One of the ways we start the conversation on economics, marketing a product, making a profit, and all of that good stuff comes from reading a book called Ump's Fwat.
Published by the Powell Economic Education Foundation, this is a cute book about cavemen playing baseball and how one man, Ump, perfected the bat that he turned into a business success.

The story begins:
“In the beginning… the club was one of man’s most useful tools. He used it to settle arguments, to hunt the short- tempered wooly mammoth… and, most importantly, to play fwap.”
And continues, once other cavemen start wanting Ump's fwat to play fwap:
“Ump realized he had a MARKETABLE PRODUCT in his hands. For if he were to make fwats for fwap players all over the world, he would get, in return, many flinks.”
The story even gets into investors, dividends, shareholders, and more- all in a format that is easy for 3rd and 4th graders to understand.

There is a great video that I always show my students to launch these economic ideas. This book becomes a tongue-twister with fwats, fwaps, flinks, and more, so the video is a great way to start this lesson and not get too crazy with a read aloud :)

The book itself is available in pdf format and I really like projecting it onto the large screen, as well as making smaller copies of multiple pages on a sheet for kids to refer back to later.

You can also find a handout with questions about the book on my Google Docs. Click on the image to download this 2-page document. I like to have the kids fill this out as we read along with the pdf, after we watch the video.
And, last but not least, there is a pretty hefty Instructor's Guide to help with even more detail about the book and possibilities for extension. We don't get too much into that, but it's good to have around.

Disclaimer: I know that this book was probably published before I was even in third grade, but I really do like it, especially when I start by using the video. The story is pretty timeless and has some giggles in it. Plus, the fact that it's engaging AND about some pretty not-so-easy concepts makes it a yearly go-to during this time!

Do you teach Mini-Society? Have you had success with Ump's Fwat or any other fun resource for introducing economics to your students? I'd love to hear about them!

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this!! I really look forward to doing this with my class!
    love and sloppy kisses from Oklahoma
    Gail

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  2. This is perfect! Exactly what I needed. I have economics coming up in third grade and I was completely stumped!!
    I'm a new follower!

    Buzzing with Ms. B

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  3. Thanks, all!

    Let me know how it goes! My 3rd graders really like it and I would love to hear how you use it in your classrooms :)

    Happy Monday!

    ~Stephanie

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  4. The link for the book and video no longer work! If you happen to find it can you please let me know!!!I love this book! Thanks! I love your blog!!!!

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  5. Would also like to know if you having working links for the book and video...Would love to try this this year.

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Thank you so much for your comments! :)
~Stephanie