Developing "Kidpreneurs" with Resources for Elementary Educators - Classroom ECONnections from the Fed, Episode 8

Equip yourself with engaging ways to teach entrepreneurship using resources from several Federal Reserve banks. Explore new lessons, online interactives, classroom-ready activities and more. The featured resources will cover a variety of entrepreneurial concepts such as consumers, producers, price and risk. They will also help students hone their problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity skills.

All of the resources showcased in this episode of Classroom ECONnections from the Fed are free and available for classroom use.


Below is a full transcript of this webinar. It has not been edited or reviewed for accuracy or readability.

Jean Roark: Hello, and welcome to the Federal Reserve Classroom ECONnections Webinar. Today we’ll discuss developing kidpreneurs with resources for elementary educators. I’m Jean Roark, and I’ll be your facilitator. Let me introduce our speakers. Our first speaker today is Gigi Wolf from the Kansas City Fed. And she’s joined by Jeannette Bennett from the St. Louis Fed. Before turning our call over to Gigi, I’d like to run through just a couple of call logistics. So I am on slide two.

If you haven’t joined us through the Webinar yet, go ahead and click the link you received after registering. For the best Webinar experience, use the FAQ document which can be found using the “Materials” button in the Webinar player page. And I’ll highlight just a few important notes for you. You can listen to the audio today through your PC speakers or through the phone. If you use the phone option, slides will not sync with audio unless you change your settings. You can do this by selecting the grey gear located in the upper right corner of the slide window, just above the presentation. From there you should see a few options and a media chooser. And please do select that phone option if you’re listening through the phone.

You can expand the size of the slide. To do this, just use the “Maximize” button in the upper right corner of the slide window, located on the Webinar player page. All right. And if you’d like a PDF version of today’s presentation, you can access it using a “Materials” button. We will be taking questions at the end of our presentation, but you can send them in at any time during our call. If you joined us in the Webinar, just click that “Ask Question” button and we’ll get your questions queued up for Gigi and Jeannette today. It is now my pleasure to turn our call over to Gigi Wolf in Kansas City.

Gigi Wolf: Thank you so much, Jean. In Kansas City we have developed several resources that can help students explore entrepreneurial concepts. And I’m pleased to be able to share a few of those with you all today. One of our newest resources for elementary students is an online, interactive app that allows students to learn about the process of starting a business. In addition to the app itself, we’ve also developed a teacher’s manual with sequential lesson plans, a student journal for students to follow along and log and track their progress in the app. There’s also a pre-imposed [phonetic 0:02:45] assessment, a completion certificate that students can keep or take away, and in addition to those, we also have a glossary of terms, a sample letter that can be used in the optional lesson seven that I’ll share a little bit more about later, and a short feedback survey for you as teachers to share how the program went with your classroom.

So let’s jump in to each of the lessons. In lesson one, Getting Started, students will construct a definition for entrepreneur. They’ll also develop characteristics of entrepreneurs, and identify the risks and rewards to entrepreneurship. They will also utilize a decision-making grid that can help them in making decisions not only about what is available in this program, but other decisions in life. They can also learn about opportunity cost by using this decision-making model.

To give you a feel for how one of the activities works within the lesson, let’s take a look at these visuals. The lesson starts out with a concept attainment activity, helping students to understand what an entrepreneur might look like based on visuals that are provided in the lesson. So, as the teacher, you’re instructed to place a T-chart [phonetic 0:04:30] on the board, like so, and on one side of the [unintelligible 0:04:40] looks like I’m advancing too quickly. Sorry about that. On one side of the T-chart you should have the word entrepreneur, and on the other side of the T-chart, not an entrepreneur.

Then you show students the visuals provided with a brief description of each and ask them to place it in the correct place on the T-chart. So, for instance, here’s a picture of a young gentleman who creates or has developed his own business of bow ties. And students should place him on the left side of the T-chart underneath entrepreneur. Here’s another example of a visual that’s provided in the lesson of sharecroppers. And they should be placed on the right side of the T-chart. And this activity continues until all of the visuals have been completed.

Now I’d like to show you what to expect when you open the app. On the left-hand side you’ll see the app with—down the left hand side, the chapters that are represented within the app. The app is animated and includes audio. And it’s delivered in short sections that allow the students to pause, as needed, to log information or track information within their student journal, which is pictured on the right-hand side. As students progress through the app and their journal, there are indicators that are very clear as to when they should pause or stop or go on to the next activity. For instance, what we see here now, underneath the app visual, it clearly states that students should click for the quiz. And then if you look here on the right, there are several stop signs throughout the student journal that help the students to know, this is a point to pause and look for instructions from their teacher.

The app itself can also be paused in the middle of each section. For those who would like to access the app, you can do so by going to, B-I-Z, and jaystartsabiz is all one word. And less than two students will define capital resources and all other key terms, including budget and risk, they’ll also brainstorm risks taken by entrepreneurs and list the capital resources that will be needed for the business that they’d like to start. And they’ve determined their business based on the decision making grid from less than one.

Also in Lesson Two, students will prepare a budget for their business and use the decision making grid, once again, to determine their business cost. Here are some snapshots of what students will see within their student journal, and the app, as they go through Lesson Two. Also in Lesson Two, they identify their business name and any other expenses tied to marketing their business.

In Lesson Three, students will look at key concepts tied to their capital resources, their budget, and their risks. They also will justify their capital resources needed for their particular business. And they’re going to limit their spending on the materials that they’ll need for their product based on the budget that was created in Lesson Two. They also will be asked to explain the risks and benefits of taking out loans and of making spending decisions for their business.

Here’s a snapshot of the activity that’s included within Lesson Three. Also included will be an opportunity for students to draw a picture of their business with identification of a name, a business name. They’ll also be asked to draw a picture of the product that they’d like to produce at their business, and what makes it unique.

In Lesson Four, students will be asked to set prices for their business or for their product, and they’ll be asked to do so in order to maximize their profit, comparing what they determine they’ll be spending within their budget in order to produce their product. They also will be asked to consider how to remain competitive within their business as they set their prices. There’s also a point within this part of the program for students to review key concepts to gauge their understanding.

In Lesson Five, students will be asked to analyze various advertisement models or vehicles, and they’ll be asked to create an ad campaign targeting their specific audience that they’re trying to reach for their product. Here’s a snapshot of the activities that they will use or complete during Lesson Five. On the left you can see several advertising vehicles that they will evaluate for their particular product or business, and on the right you’ll see a rubric that’s been provided in order to assess their completion of that activity.

In Lesson Six, it’s time for students to present their business ideas and to act as consumers and shop around their classroom for the products that they’d like to purchase with money, big money as you can see pictured here, that they’ve been provided. They’ll also learn the definitions of consumers and producers in this lesson, and be asked to log all of their sales within a provided handout. Through Lesson Six comprises the app itself. Outside of that there’s opportunity for an extension lesson where students can hear from real life entrepreneurs regarding their best practices, challenges they’ve faced, the types of businesses they’ve selected and why, and the types of budget or resources that are needed for their business.

This is where that sample letter that I alluded to earlier comes into play, that’s been provided within the teacher manual. It can be sent out to business owners, entrepreneurs within your community, and invite them to come in and speak to your students. As students listen to the stories provided by the entrepreneurs, they can then compare that to their own experience in completing the app and the student journal throughout the program.

Again, at the end, there’s a completion certificate, an opportunity for you, as teachers, to provide your feedback about the program, and there’s also a post assessment to gauge student understandings throughout the program. The standards that this particular app meets tie in to the national standards for financial literacy of earning income, buying goods and services, using credit, and protecting and insuring.

I’d now like to share information about a few more resources that have been developed out of Kansas City. Mind Your Own Business is a roleplay lesson plan where students define the concept of earning, entrepreneurship, profit, and interest. They also discuss the importance of having a business plan when starting a business. And they also look at the steps an entrepreneur should take to be successful within their business. This particular lesson is geared toward grades three through five. And here’s a snapshot of the activity, or one activity, I should say, that’s included within the lesson where students respond to how to put together a business plan based on responses to these questions. And on the right you’ll see the names of the characters that are included within the roleplay activities, also a part of this lesson.

As far as standard connections, this lesson ties into the national econ standards related to decision making and entrepreneurship. It also ties into national standards for financial literacy of earning income and entrepreneurship, as well as common core standards in English Language Arts.

In Kansas City we’ve also developed several literature-based lessons that have an entrepreneurial tie. I’ll highlight three of them during our time together today. The two that we won’t go through includes Sweet Potato Pie by Kathleen Lindsey and Isabel’s Car Wash written by Sheila Bair. All of the books on the list are currently being published so should be easy to access or find either through your school library or online or in your local bookstore.

The first one we’ll touch on is called The Inventor’s Secret: What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford. This book is by Suzanne Slade. In this lesson students will identify and define consumers, producers, and the concept of price. They will also conduct an investigation that leads to their own innovations or inventions. Students will go through the problem solving process through guided discussion and inquiry. They will also predict where inventions and innovations might lead. This lesson is targeted toward grades three through five and should last 60 plus minutes. I’ll share with you where the plus comes in as we walk through the lesson.

Now I’m going to take a quick pause and turn it over to Jean for our first polling question.

Jean Roark: All right. Thanks so much for that, Gigi. And I would love for our participants to grab your mouses and—or, I guess that would be mice. Grab your mouse and please respond to our polling question. I’ll read the question aloud and give you a couple minutes to respond. Can you name this invention?  So take a look at—it’s going to be hard for you to see that invention. Hopefully you can remember what it looked like on that slide. The options are, A) a perpetual printer; B) a video projector; C) a high-tech sewing machine; or D) a remote operated typewriter. So if you want to just think about your responses, then I’ll give you another couple of seconds. All right, we’re going to go ahead and stop that poll, and I will show the results to our group. And so, Gigi, just so you know, 100% of your participants said that it is a perpetual printer. I’ll turn it back over to you.

Gigi Wolf:  Ahh, thank you, Jean. And 100% of them are right. So maybe this invention isn’t quite as new as I thought. But the lesson starts out with you showing students a new invention, or something they may not be as familiar with. And you can use the website that’s been provided within the lesson to look at options or identify one on your own. And then related to the invention, we then start the guided questions and inquiry process that have been provided. So the questions that are included within the lesson include, who do you think produced this particular invention and why?  What problems might this invention have solved or will solve?  Who will buy or use this good to satisfy their wants or needs?  Who do you think would purchase this particular product and why?  And what price would you be willing to pay for this product?

After this introductory activity, it’s time to share the story with students. To sum up, the story is about Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, contemporary, in America and also both innovators and inventors. And the story talks about how, although Thomas Edison seemed to be having success with his inventions, Henry Ford continued to struggle with developing his car. So when he had an opportunity to do so, Henry Ford arranged to meet Thomas Edison in person to pick his brain about what helped him to be successful as an inventor. And he learned the secret, or Thomas Edison’s secret, was simply to keep trying. To keep working at it was the secret.

So they ended up being lifelong friends, even living next door to each other at one point in their lives. And as the story is being read, students are introduced to some of the inventions that are—were created or developed by these two individuals. Like, hopefully you recognize these, the electric pen and the electric light, invented by Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford’s early car and the Model T. Again, each time you reintroduce these pictures to the students, you’re asking those same questions related to, what problems did this invention solved [phonetic 0:21:20]?  Who might the consumers have been and why?  What had to be created before?  How much might this cost? Et cetera.

Then students have an opportunity to become innovators themselves. In small groups they’re asked to define or determine a problem that they have faced within their school, their home, or their favorite place to play, and then, to develop their own set of questions that will help them to investigate or solve that problem.

Then they take the inquiry even further by asking or identifying data sources where they will find responses to their questions, what they discovered in reviewing and researching the data, what inferences they could make about the data and the information that they found, and then, lastly, the solutions. What have they found based on their research and investigation that will help them to solve the problems that they originally came up with?  Again, tying into their home, school, or favorite place to play. And this is where the plus comes in with the time frame for the lesson, the 60 plus. Obviously the more time the students have to delve into these questions and areas of investigation can further lead to what they’re able to share in the next step or later on in the lesson.

Another part of the inquiry or investigation is taking each of the solutions that have been determined and looking at the cost and benefits of each solution. Lastly, students have an opportunity to present their resolution ideas for their original problem. There’s an assessment where students can conduct their own investigation about a problem that’s in their community at large. This particular lesson ties into national standards in personal finance and the C3 frame work. The lesson really engages students to use their inquiry, their curiosity, their determination and problem solving skills, and applying that like they saw being played out in the book, The Inventor’s Secret.

In the next lesson, called One Plastic Bag, students will describe the importance of responsible consumption. They’ll explain how to be a responsible consumer, interpret charts and graphs, and develop their own infographic about responsible consumption. This lesson is targeted towards grade three through six, and should take two 60 minute class periods. The lesson begins with straightforward activities about understanding the types of trash and the terms reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Then it’s time to share the story with students about a woman named Isatou Ceesay who’s from Gambia and recognized a problem within her village of plastic bags being discarded in the streets and on the ground that began to build up and cause several environmental and economic problems within her village. So she developed an idea to recycle and reuse those plastic bags so they can be used for a product of a purse or a wallet and be resold or be sold, creating economic opportunity for herself and her fellow villagers. There are also references to the maps within the lesson, and several vocabulary terms that are used in the book that students may not be familiar with.

The lesson goes on to cement knowledge of reducing reuse and—reusing and recycling. And there’s also a short video that can be shared with students about plastic pollution, our oceans, and our future. Whereas the book ties into pollution in Gambia, this particular video ties into what’s going on in the United States. There are also several current articles and information out about pollution in several countries being caused by plastic bags and how they’ve been banned in several of these countries, with Kenya being the most recent, also with the toughest ban of up to $19,000 in fines and four years in jail for the use of plastic bags.

The video ends the first part of the lesson and the next part starts with this activity where students interpret the charts and graphs within the provided infographic, all ties to consumption. And there’s also a cute song written by Jack Johnson about reducing, reusing, and recycling that can also be shared with students. Lastly, students complete a questionnaire in small groups about responsible consumption, and have an opportunity to put together their own infographic that they can then present to the rest of their class. The handout on the right provides a way for students to log or track what’s been shared during the presentation portion of the lesson as other students present.

There’s also lots of extension opportunities for this lesson, as Isatou Ceesay is a real woman, though there are—there’s information about her life, other activities and lessons, that have been created, available at this URL that you see here.

Lastly, from Kansas City, Time for Cranberries by Lisl Detlefsen. In this lesson plan, students craft a definition of an entrepreneur. They learn to distinguish entrepreneurs from other individuals, and then also define the characteristics of an entrepreneur. This is targeted for grades three through five and should last about 45 minutes. In this lesson, for the first part, students are introduced to pictures of individuals with short bios, and asked to rotate to different stations that you set up around the room with the four pictures at each station, and ask to identify, from the four pictures at that station, which one is the entrepreneur. They then record that on the handout that you see on the bottom left. Jean, for the sake of time, is it possible for us to skip our next polling question?

Jean Roark: Yes, of course, no problem. Thanks, Gigi.

Gigi Wolf: Okay. So just looking here at this example, these four women that are featured here, this is an example of one of the stations that students would visit as part of this activity. And after reading about each of the women, they then determine which one is the entrepreneur. For those who might have already read through the bios of these women, hopefully you determined that Madam C.J. Walker is the entrepreneur in this group.

Following that activity, students get to craft the definition and write characteristics for entrepreneurs based on what they learned in visiting each of those stations. Then it’s time to share the story with students about a family of American farmers that are getting ready to harvest their cranberries. And it talks through or walks through the process and each of their roles within the family within that division of labor in harvesting their fruit.

The last thing I’d like to share, before turning it over to Jeannette, is an activity that’s geared toward middle school to high school students, so it might be appropriate for some of your advanced students. It’s called Four Corners:  Characteristics of an Entrepreneur. And in this lesson, students will identify characteristics associated with successful entrepreneurs, look at the benefits and costs associated with decision making, and then plan to develop their own entrepreneurial skills. This lesson and the others that I’ve shared with you can be found at I’d now like to turn the floor over to Jeannette.

Jeannette Bennett: Thanks, Gigi. That was so invigorating, it made me want to go back to the classroom. You’ve got so many good ideas. The first thing I’d like to do is to say that the website that Gigi just mentioned has got all of our 12 districts’ materials on there. So you might want to go there and just play around and see what you see. And then we each have our own individual website. I’m with the St. Louis Fed, so our website is That’s S-T-L-O-U-I-S-F-E-D dot org. So the materials that we have on our website will also appear on that website.

Okay, you may wonder, if I’m from St. Louis, why is Dallas up here?  Well, because Dallas has this wonderful [unintelligible 0:32:39] that I wanted you to know about. Now I know that it’s designed for high school students, but let me—but the resource that it provides could be invaluable to you as a teacher, or maybe to even send home to your parents. And this reminded me a little bit of what Gigi just referred to in the Time for Cranberries when there were pictures that they got to determine who was the entrepreneur. Well, in this publication, all of the pictures that they have are entrepreneurs. And they have a little story that goes with each picture. And their—you see the artwork?  Isn’t that gorgeous?

Okay, I think I went to fast there. Yeah, I did. I’m sorry. But let’s go back to Steve Jobs. This comes directly from this publication. It’s got some real people with some real stories that your kids might just have an interest in. You know?  As a former educator myself, I think that interest is what we’re all aiming for in the classroom because, if you can get them interested, they’re doing—they will do better.

Okay, so entrepreneurs—Fred Smith. I couldn’t resist talking about Fred Smith. Now there’s no nice picture that goes with Fred, but he’s from Memphis, and Federal Express is something that everybody is familiar with. And look here at the bottom. In a 24-hour period, the fleet traveled nearly 500,000 miles, logging 2.5 million miles a day. Wow. That leaves itself wide open for some maps [phonetic 0:34:53], and from some—for some thinking skills there. Another entrepreneur, and you see the light bulb up there with the idea that Fred Smith had, which we’re all familiar with, Oprah Winfrey, and you know she’s kind of special because she’s from Mississippi. So her story is in this entrepreneurship publication. This is another picture out of the publication. And you can get free copies. Don’t you like free things?  Here at the bottom it says, “Copies of all Dallas Fed economic education materials are available free.” 

So now I’m moving to Philadelphia. So I’m going around the world before I ever get to St. Louis, it sounds like. But Philadelphia partners with the St. Louis Fed to do lessons. And I’m going to show you a couple of the lessons written by Philadelphia Fed and then the smart board activities and the whiteboard activities were done by [inaudible 0:36:18]. So we’re going to look at a few children’s literature lessons.

One, Uncle Jed’s Barbershop, One Hen, and Meet Kit. So when we look at Uncle Jed’s Barbershop, it’s just sad that you don’t have the book to look at right in front of you. The artwork is gorgeous. It’s beautiful. It represents a time in our history that brings back a feeling of interest. We’re talking about segregation. We’re talking about that worked hard. And I think, Gigi a while ago, had said, “Thomas Edison’s words were, keep trying.”  Well, this could be illustrated in Uncle Jed’s Barbershop. This is a man who had a dream of having his own barbershop.

Now, remember, in Memphis, the guy with the dream would be Elvis Presley. So, you know, all that dream, but Uncle Jed had to wait for a long, long time. He was 79 years old before he ever got his barbershop like he wanted it. Things kept happening and he kept making choices. And as he saved for his barbershop, emergencies would happen. And then there was the Great Depression that came, and the bank failed. He lost his money. Had to start all over again.. So this would go hand-in-hand with Thomas Edison. Well, I should have told you this is for grades three through five written by Margaree King Mitchell, and the author of the—this lesson that you can find at [unintelligible 0:38:17] hill from Philadelphia. But, remember the smart board, whiteboard, and the Q&A is all done by St. Louis.

So as we look at Uncle Jed’s Barbershop, we see just some—lots of involvement that we try to bring into our lessons. This is a game where, you know, Uncle—as a matter of fact, this lesson, Uncle Jed’s Barbershop does not even have the word entrepreneur in the content because the feature of the book is saving, having a savings goal, and that’s what he did. But he was also saving to be an entrepreneur with a business. So with this activity, I just cut out the first two lines here  They throw a dice and then they—it’s a card game, and a couple of the cards here on the bottom say, you know, you collect your allowance or you pay your dues, so it’s, like, [unintelligible 0:39:25] things or you’re going to earn money. Sometimes you’re going to lose money. And the game concludes with somebody makes it to $50. And that would be illustrating a savings plan.

Another thing that we try to do with some of our children’s literature book is do some Q&As that are online for parents. Your parents may not be familiar with all these books and that—and if you just have the Q&A for the parents to go over with their child, promoting parental involvement, also getting your parents to pay more attention to what’s going on in your classroom.

Okay. Another book that is so similar to one that Gigi just told you about is One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Difference. Now this was also written by Todd Dartmouth [phonetic 0:40:21] who is in Philadelphia. [Unintelligible 0:40:24] but the smart board lessons were produced by St. Louis for grades three and four. And the reason this is so similar to one that Gigi just told you about, this is from actually a true story that’s written from a real person who lived in Ghana, West Africa.

It has something in common with Uncle Jed because they were struggling. There was a need for an idea to make things better. Well, in this story of One Hen, he got a loan, and it’s really such a heartwarming story, and it’s such a successful, good feeling when you get through with it. He got a loan to buy a hen, one hen, with the idea of, I can sell those eggs so I can—I could become an entrepreneur with one hen. Now, you might think, [unintelligible 0:41:38] the money of—of course, he had to get the money from somewhere. He borrowed it from his mother, but she did expect him to pay the money back.

Entrepreneurs take a risk. They’re not guaranteed success because everything you have in some business and go [inaudible 0:41:58]. So this illustrates [unintelligible 0:42:04] but what if, there’s a big risk factor. He only had one hen. What if lightning had struck that hen down. You know?  What if…  But at the [unintelligible 0:42:15] he kept saving the profit he made from selling the eggs, and he got more and more and more. And in the book it tells how he ended up, as a real person, he had 125 people who worked for him because of his success with this idea. And this—the little boy’s name is Kojo. However, he is the real person in the book. And you can see that the characteristics of an entrepreneur fit this story.

And then one of the activities in the book is questions, you know, getting the kids to be kind of interested in this story with questioning. And that kind of goes along with some of the C3 essential questions and inquiry. Then this activity, I know you can’t read it, and it’s just a whole handout page. But what it amounts to is put it back in the hands of the kids, like, okay, you pretend that you’re the entrepreneur and let’s fill out this based on your ideas. So that’s just one of the activities that go with it. And again, the Q&A for the parents, [unintelligible 0:43:48].

Another—the next slide goes to Meet Kit. Now this is totally by St. Louis. Meet Kit is another Great Depression era setting. And if you look at this picture here, and most of you probably already know about the American Girl Doll. Well, the American Girl Doll, Kit Kittredge, is from the Great Depression era. Now Kit Kittredge, if you can look at this picture and this is the cover of the book, she was not hurting. There was no struggle, because they—look at the house. Look at her clothes. And in the story, as it first opens, her mother is having, like, crystal and silver and tea parties and everything was lovely, wonderful.

And it was the time of the Great Depression, but they didn’t relate to it. But then, at the end this book is for grades three through five and it’s Valerie Tripp is the author. But then they learn that the Great Depression hit everyone. Because, entrepreneurs are people who take a risk, and they’re willing to take a risk, she found that their own family was affected. Because, you see, her father owned a car dealership. He made a lot of money. They were well-off. But, as the Great Depression came on, who is he going to sell the cars to?  Nobody else had any money. So his sales dropped off. When his sales dropped off, he had to use his savings to pay his workers, his salesmen, and eventually he ran out of savings, and he had to shut down his business. Okay?

The activity that goes with this lesson is a role playing where you’ve got kids in different part of the room that, you know, when one thing happened, it shows the snowball effect. And then we have the smart board activity here in [unintelligible 0:46:27] because this illustrates what can happen. The car dealership closed because he was an entrepreneur but he took a risk and he lost it. And when he lost it, he had all these people around him here that also lost their jobs. And when they lost a job, look at here [phonetic 0:46:48] at the consequences. This guy’s lost his job so he’s not going to be buying shoes or—and so when he didn’t buy the shoes, then the shoe store closes. It was, like, a web of [unintelligible 0:47:03] that’s shown in that activity.

Now we have another one that is not based on a hard book. This is more for middle school, and like I told you on the Dallas econo-, entrepreneurship publication at the high school [unintelligible 0:47:23] for a reference. This is written for grades five through eight, a little higher than what a lot of these are. But you might be interested in looking at something on the upper elementary level. It’s got a lesson and a whiteboard activity. And we think Ben Franklin, we think of him as being a great scientist and inventor. He was also an entrepreneur.

And Ben Franklin has got a lot to teach us besides flying kites. He worked very diligently at improving his human capital. Ben Franklin didn’t even have a formal education. He had—and this is all in this lesson, the information text that the kids have to read, he had to quit school after three years to work in his father’s candle shop. And then after that there was another [unintelligible 0:48:27] but so that he became an apprentice and worked with his brother. And then he kept working and kept trying and kept working and kept trying to be better and better and better. And he got good at being a printer.

He was so good that he retired in his early 40s because he was a wealthy man because of all of the investment he had made in himself to get an entrepreneur situation, and also a job, as he made money with. A timeline is part of this lesson where this is the timeline that you put on the wall with white masking tape. And then the kids get to draw cards and place the car-, illustrate different events during—in Ben Franklin’s life, and tape the card where it goes on the timeline. And then one of the other activities, which is a little different, is highlighting information in a text to answer questions. So this is the name of the whole lesson, highlighting the printer. So as kids work together with this copy of informational text right here, they can choose—you can choose to either have them answer all the questions or some of the questions to teach them how to highlight. You know, sometimes kids just take that, or grownups do, too.

Highlight the whole page which makes it meaningless, that they are highlighting to find answers. One of the questions that I particularly like is one that says, “What problems did Ben have, and what were some of his solutions?”  And I think Gigi also touched on that point, though, very well, when she talked about problems and solutions. So, if we look at Ben Franklin, another thing that we ask students in this lesson, after there’s been some research [unintelligible 0:50:47] and some interest in Ben Franklin’s life, we say, “You know, he was into [unintelligible 0:50:54] and own the window of his print job, he had this quote:”  If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing. I mean, I had to think about that one for a while. That’s a—that’s some kind of quote, isn’t it?

So then, the students have to write a social media post that defends or provides evidence or is a persuasive argument that Ben Franklin does deserve to be on our $100 bill because he lived up to that—how he lived up to that quote. So I think that we’re into the question part. So, Jean, do you want to take it now?

Jean Roark:  Oh, sure. Thank you, Jeannette. I appreciate that. All right. So, if you have a question for Gigi or for Jeannette, feel free to use that “Ask the Question” button in the Webinar tools. Just select that and type your question in and I will announce those for Gigi and Jeannette. So I will actually refresh my inbox and see if we have received any questions. And while I am stalling, Gigi, I don’t have any questions. Do you have any closing remarks before we part ways with our participants?

Gigi Wolf:  Thanks, Jean. Hopefully we shared quite a bit of information, lots of resources. And so, hopefully they’ll be of use to those participating today. And we apologize for failing to include the location of these resources within our slides. So again, to access them, you can find them on www.federalreserveeducation, all one word, dot org. That address again is

Jean Roark:  Okay, thanks for that, Gigi. All right. Well, I’d like to thank both Gigi Wolf and Jeannette Bennett for presenting for us today and sharing their expertise. I just pushed out a survey for those of you who have joined us in the Webinar, and we’ll send this same survey out via e-mail. But you only need to fill it out once. Please do just take a couple of minutes to respond so that we can get your feedback and continue to improve our sessions. This concludes today’s ECONnections Webinar. Enjoy the rest…

Gigi Wolf: Oh, Jean?

Jean Roark: …of your day.

Gigi Wolf: I’m sorry…

Jean Roark: Yes?

Gigi Wolf: …to interrupt. This is Gigi. I see a question has come in, so I wanted to respond to that really quickly.

Jean Roark: Oh, sure. Go ahead.

Gigi Wolf: The question is, the website address for the Jay Starts a Business app. Again, that address is www.kansascityfed, all one word, dot org\education\jaystartsabiz B-I-Z. Again, that’s dub, dub, dub dot\education\jaystartsabiz.


If you have difficulty accessing this content due to a disability, please contact us at 314-444-4662 or

Search for Related Resources

Audience:   Elementary School, Middle School
Language:   English
Subjects:   Economics, Personal Finance
Resource Types:   Webinar
Concepts:   Entrepreneurship