Reading Makes ₵ents - Part 4

Every youngster loves to make money! Teach them early-on to think like an entrepreneur using the 4-H Reading Makes ₵ents curriculum.

Reading Makes ₵ents, a national 4-H curriculum, combines two key life skills: Reading literacy and money management skills.

Every child loves to make money, whether it is by accomplishing household chores or trying a lemonade stand. Using creative activities combined with children’s literature, this curriculum is a valuable resource for parents and youth leaders that want to teach youth how to become entrepreneurs.

Using five reading selections suitable for third through fifth graders, the activities in the third chapter of the book guide children to brainstorm how they might land small jobs that puts money in their pocket. It also provides five unique and age-appropriate hands-on opportunities for them to actually practice earning money.

How might eight to 10-year-olds earn money? A variety of examples are suggested along with tips that emphasize a strong work ethic. For example, “always do your best work regardless of the amount of money you earn.”

After reading the book selection, the first activity invites youngsters to role-play, negotiating with their parents for an allowance. The value of the activity is heightened as the youth pretend to be the parent and must make a case for “the other side.”

To explore careers, the youth research an interesting career and create a poster that details the employment opportunities within their chosen field. At the culminating career fair, youth recruit their peers to become employees. Thoughtful discussion questions help extend and apply the learning.

What does every business person need? A business card, of course! Youth are guided to design and create cards that would pique the interest of potential customers.

Five money-making ventures, all with a related book selection, are detailed so youth can practice being entrepreneurs. Deciding what to make and who to sell it to, is the first assignment. In addition to making the product, participants must determine how much they will charge to cover their expenses and still make money. Depending on the age of the youth, the discussion may also include the value of their time and cost of labor. Numerous discussion questions are provided to complete the experiential learning process.

The chapter ends with a traditional word search and a list of additional reading selections that have an “earning money” theme.

The Reading Makes ₵ents curriculum was developed by professionals at Pennsylvania State University and pilot tested by youth in after-school programs across the country. It has been reviewed, recommended and accepted into the National 4-H Curriculum set of professional educational resources. An overview of the curriculum, as well as other chapters of the book, are highlighted in separate articles posted on the Michigan State University Extension website.

The 194-page resource is available for purchase from the 4-H Mall at Reading Makes ₵ents. Contact your local Michigan State University Extension office for additional information about financial literacy programming for youth.

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