Use these questions with children 8 to 10 years old to discuss the following economic concepts in Saturday Sancocho: bartering, coincidence of wants, exchange, and money.
Book written by Leyla Torres (ISBN: 0-374-46451-0).
1. Bartering is trading goods and services for other goods and services without using money. Why did Maria Lili need to barter to make chicken sancocho?
Maria Lili needed to barter for supplies because Mama Ana and Papa Angelino did not have the money needed to buy the ingredients for chicken sancocho. All they had were a dozen eggs.
2. Name some individuals with whom Maria Lili and her grandmother bartered and the items for which they traded.
Answers may include the following: They traded six eggs for a bunch of green plantains with Don Eugenio and his son. They traded nine plantains for four pounds of thick cassava with Doña Carmen. They traded two pounds of cassava for six ears of corn with Don Mateo. They traded three ears of corn for eight carrots with Doña Dolores.
3. Coincidence of wants is when each participant in an exchange is willing to trade what he or she has in exchange for what the other participant is willing to trade. How was this concept illustrated in the story?
There was a coincidence of wants each time Mama Ana and Maria Lili successfully bartered with someone at the market.
4. What did Mama Ana and Maria Lili barter with Don Fernando?
They bartered one of Mama Ana’s hand-knit bags for one of Don Fernando’s wooden ladles and a colorful spinning top.
5. Money is anything widely accepted in exchange for goods and services. If Maria Lili’s grand parents had had money, would it have been necessary to barter for the sancocho ingredients?
6. Would it have taken Mama Ana and Maria Lili more or less time to gather the ingredients for sancocho if they had used money instead of bartering?
7. Think about an item you would like to have. How might it be possible for you to get that item by bartering?
Answers will vary. Possibilities might include trading toys or other goods with a sibling or friend or agreeing to do so some type of work in exchange for a toy or other good.
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