Return to Headlines

Third-graders cash in on economics basics with “Market Days” activity

Maya Keating engages in Market Days activities with students(02/16/2024) Students in Maya Keating’s third-grade classroom merged their math skills with creativity and concepts they learned in a recent economics unit in a pretend, hands-on experience she dubbed, “Market Days,” earlier this month.

Keating, a teacher at Rum River Elementary, pitched the week-long assignment to her students: 

  • First, they had the opportunity to earn “money,” as a reward in class.

  • Then, they could use the “money” to buy supplies such as paper, string, glue, scissors and markers to make their “goods” from the “store” at Keating’s desk.

  • Next, they were challenged to create a product from the “goods” they purchased.

  • Lastly - students designed a sign to market their product - and interacted with classmates to “sell” products from their new businesses.

Students exchange money and goods in class activity.“Students learned about competition and scarcity, and how to be responsible with their money,” Keating explained. “The activity strengthened their knowledge of economics vocabulary that can be difficult to understand, and money - while also building upon their social skills with each other.”

Throughout the week, students interacted with each other as producers and consumers determined to sell their products. The businesses that the students created ranged from selling soccer equipment to refreshments such as coffee, hot cocoa and lemonade, video game systems/accessories, sports cards and more.

“Some students sold out very quickly and had to make adjustments for the next day,” Keating said. She predicts some of her students will be very successful business people in the future. 

View photos from Market Days at Rum River Elementary.