Economics: Ump's Fwat

Economics is a tricky concept for many of my third graders and I'm excited to be sharing one of the ways we introduce some of the more advanced concepts with them: Ump's Fwat!

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. It was published in the 1980s and has long-since been out of print, so keep reading for a link to a PDF available online!

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 (or HERE if YouTube isn't working) 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 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!


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

  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

  3. This site has a link to the pdf and a reading of the book, but no video.