Developing second grade entrepreneurs at Conshohocken Elementary
After learning how to write a basic business plan, second graders at Conshohocken Elementary School (CE) created, marketed and sold products to other children in their school at an event called Business Day.
“A business plan is where you describe your product, how much it costs and why people would want to buy it,” explained Joseph DeGuzman, a CE second grader.
The children worked in teams to brainstorm ideas, compile lists of materials and produce their products. The teams created jewelry, slime, paper action figures, origami, decorative pencils, designer bookmarks and more. At CE, each group needed to create an inventory of 30 of their products to sell for when the kindergarten students were ready to “shop” on Business Day.
“It takes a lot of work. I thought we could do this in a day, but it really took like a week or two,” said CE second grader Ivy Piersol. “My group painted Pet Rocks. Even though we made a bunch of rocks, and we really liked them, it was actually fun selling them.”
Part of the district-wide second grade social studies curriculum, Business Day is an example of Project Based Learning, where students apply new skills in real-world applications — often incorporating more than one subject area, as well as The Four Cs: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity. The Business Day project includes math through pricing and using money, plus concepts from English language arts.
“The children loved it, and they worked hard on every part of it,” said Mr. Jackson. “Exposing them to entrepreneurship early can give them the hope, motivation and confidence to maybe have their own business one day. You have students who are starting online businesses in high school, the earlier the exposure the better.”