Friday, May 25, 2012

More Economics

Is anyone else searching the utensil drawer for a fork? Because I am DONE! No, I'm not one of those lucky ducks who are done and already enjoying summer vacation... we have 3 more weeks to go, which means three more weeks of exhaustion, stress, anxiety, and me saying "Really????" to a few choice kids who have decided they are already on summer vacation and can do whatever they darn well please. So all I'm sayin' is stick a fork in me, I'm DONE!

Anyway, here is a little update on how our economics project is going. We managed to elect four district representatives (one for each table group), make a few important town decisions, and create and vote on our official town seal.

I wanted to start by having the kids choose a power source. I gave them the options of Coal Power, Nuclear Power, Wind Power, Hydroelectric Power, and Solar Power. I made picture cards with a brief description of the pros and cons of each power source on the back. They had to weigh the options carefully (make an economic choice) and all four districts chose Solar Power. Their only concern was that someone could get hurt if there was an earthquake and the panels slid off the roof.

Then they had to choose a location for their town. again, I gave them picture cards with pros and cons of each choice on the back. They could choose from Ocean Front, Lake Community, River Town, Mountain Escape, or Farming Town. After a minor hissy fit (on my part) about actually READING the blurbs on the cards rather than just choosing the picture they thought was "cool," I was really impressed with their conversations. They immediately ruled out an Ocean Front town due to risk of Hurricane and Erosion. River Town was next to go because of Flooding (although one group did make a pretty good argument for having a fresh water supply handy). They didn't like that the Farming Town would be so spread out and decided it wouldn't attract many tourists, which would be a loss of income. In the end it came down to Mountains vs. Lake and they voted for Lake Community. The kids liked that a lake provided a variety of activities for citizens and guests, and that all the major attractions and amenities would be close by.

Choosing our meat source and crops was interesting. After debating over Beef, Poultry, Pork, Fish, or Vegetarian. We had district tie between Poultry and Fish. The mayor got to be the tie-breaker and she chose fish because the lake had a natural supply of fish already and we wouldn't have to waste land space with the poultry farm. Last, the townspeople chose their major vegetable and fruit crops. Out of lettuce, carrots, broccoli, peppers, and corn we selected carrots as our vegetable crop. From apples, grapes, mangoes (my favorite), berries, and melon we had another tie. The mayor again broke the tie between berries and grapes and chose berries because it included more variety.

Naming the town was a little disappointing. They had a hard time coming up with something new and original. After many vetos on names like 'Hollywood' and 'New York City,' we ended up with a vote between Lake Fun, Silver Lake Park, Environment City, Berry Town, and Lake of Fun. The district reps and mayor voted and chose Lake Fun. Then it was time to create a town seal. I showed many real examples of town seals in our state and across the country. They were supposed to include all our major industries we had just voted on and most came out pretty nice. Take a look and see if you can spot any solar panels :)

 Love the Solar Panel.
 More Solar Panels!

This was the runner up.
The winner!

Next week will will look closer at Natural, Human, and Capitol Resources, Consumers and Producers, and start mapping out our town. Thanks for reading!


  1. The seals look great! And how cool is that, that they really internalized their energy source and included the solar panels in the drawings. The cards were genius, I will use them next year. Or maybe even this year to show them how they picked COAL of all things. But oh well. Live and learn.

  2. We aren't out til the 14th. You can do it!

    Chickadee Jubilee

  3. Wow! Love your blog! I am now a follower!

    2nd Grade Pig Pen

  4. Would you mind sharing an example of one of your cards?


  5. You might be qualified for a new government sponsored solar energy program.
    Find out if you are eligble now!