Beatrice's Goat Lesson for Grades 3-5

Beatrice's Goat book cover

Teach saving and income using the book “Beatrice's Goat.”

In this lesson, students listen to a story about Beatrice, a little girl from Uganda, who receives a goat and the impact of that goat on her family. They learn what it means to save and use estimation to decide whether or not people have enough money to reach a savings goal. They also work through a set of problems requiring that they identify how much additional money people must save to reach their goals. Students learn what opportunity cost is and identify the opportunity costs of savings decisions made by Beatrice and her family.

This lesson plan is designed for teaching grades 3, 4, and 5.


Students will

  • define income, opportunity cost, saving, savings goal, and short-term and longterm savings goals;
  • identify the opportunity cost of a decision;
  • give an example of a savings goal; and
  • explain the difference between long- and short-term savings goals.

Book written by Page McBrier / ISBN: 0-689-82460-2. This book is available in print and electronic format.

Braille and Talking Book versions are available via the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled. Library of Congress catalogue numbers are provided for accessible versions. The books can be accessed through BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download). The book is available in Braille LCCN 2001990800.

Parents: Learn more about the Q&A using Beatrice's Goat.

Common Core Standards

Grades 1 through 5 English Language Arts Standards--Reading: Literature
  • Key Ideas and Details
    • RL.2.1, RL.3.1,RL.4.1. Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
    • RL.2.2, RL.3.2, RL.4.2. Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
    • RL.2.3, RL.3.3, RL.4.3. Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).
Grades 1 through 5 English Language Arts Standards--Speaking and Listening
  • Comprehension and Collaboration
    • SL.2.1, SL.3.1, SL.4.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    • SL.2.2, SL.3.2, SL.4.2. Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Grade 2 Mathematics--Operations & Algebraic Thinking
  • Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction.
    • 2.OA.1. Use addition and subtraction within 100 to solve one- and two-step word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.
  • Add and subtract within 20.
    • 2.OA.2. Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies. By end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.
Grades 3 and 4 Mathematics--Number & Operations in Base Ten
  • Use place value understanding and properties of operations to perform multi-digit arithmetic.
    • 3.NBT.2, 4.NBT.4. Fluently add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.
  • Use place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract.
    • 2.NBT.5. Fluently add and subtract within 100 using strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
    • 2.NBT.6. Add up to four two-digit numbers using strategies based on place value and properties of operations.


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Find More Economics and Personal Finance Resources

Education Level: Pre-K-5
Subjects: Literature Personal Finance Economics STEM
Concepts: Saving Income
Resource Types: Lesson SMART/Promethean/Whiteboard
Languages: English
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