Using Plinky's Create a Card game as practice, students will create a class store where they will experiment in the roles as vendor and consumer. Students will use play money to buy and sell various products, while keeping track of spending and profits.
Explore (individually or as a class) Plinky's Create a Card, Levels One and Two. Challenge students to complete the "Just for Fun" quiz. Print out their certificates and display on a bulletin board (This is great for Back to School Night or Parent/Teacher Conferences.).
To extend this activity, create a class store. Explain to students that instead of using real money, they will be using cut-outs of coin images. Give each student an allowance of five dollars using the Coin Images handout or plastic coins. Split your class into two groups. The first group will be the vendors. In groups of two or three, the vendors need to create a greeting card decoration (i.e. glitter ornaments, interesting sketches for the front cover, a border made out of macaroni, etc.) These decorations can be manufactured using classroom materials. Vendors need to make plenty of items to sell, in the hopes of making a big profit! Vendors should complete a profit record to turn in at the end of the class store day.
The second group will be the consumers. These students will use their allowance to buy the vendors' products. The consumers' task is to create a creative and interesting greeting card using only the decorations purchased from the vendors. When the consumers have spent their allowance, they may write a personal message on the inside of the card. Consumers need to record their spending on a spending log and turn it in at the end of the class store day.
In order for students to experience being both a consumer and a vendor, consider having an additional class store day, where students swap roles.
This in-class activity could carry on throughout the year, but with different target products. Once a month/quarter/semester students could gather and create products linked to the curriculum or National Holidays.
The project described above reflects some of the national standards of learning as defined by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE), and the International Society for Technology in Education. These standards are listed below:
Language Arts Standards
Demonstrate competence in the stylistic and rhetorical aspects of writing: Students will use correct letter writing technique in order to compose personal messages on the inside of their greeting cards.
Number and Operations: Students will practice using addition, subtraction, and multiplication in order to determine their profits, spending, and money left over.
Problem Solving: Students will need to use diverse coin combinations in determining correct change for each transaction.
Social Studies Standards
Production, Distribution, and Consumption: Students will manufacture, sell, and purchase goods.