Use these questions with children 5 to 7 years old to discuss the following economic concepts in Something Special for Me: saving, savings, and opportunity cost.
Book written by Vera B. Williams (ISBN: 978-0-688-06526-3).
1. Saving is keeping some income to buy things in the future. Which characters in the book participated in saving?
Rosa, Mama, Grandma, Aunt Ida, and Uncle Sandy
2. Savings is the money set aside for future spending. On what did Rosa spend the family savings?
Rosa spent the family’s savings on an accordion.
3. Where did Rosa, Mama, and Grandma keep their savings?
They kept their savings in a big glass jar.
4. Where else could Rosa, Mama, and Grandma keep their savings?
In an account at a bank or credit union Banks and credit unions are a safe place to keep savings because the money is protected from loss (up to $250,000 per account). Also, banks and credit unions pay interest on savings—so you can reach a savings goal a little bit faster.
5. What other things did Rosa consider using the savings to buy?
She considered buying skates, “a polka dot dress with its own jacket and the blue shoes with crisscross straps and little heels,” and a knapsack.
6. Opportunity cost is the value of the next-best alternative when a decision is made; it’s what’s given up. What was Rosa’s opportunity cost when she decided to buy the accordion?
Rosa’s opportunity cost was the “knapsack with pockets all over it” because it is the thing she would have bought had she not bought the accordion.
7. Are you saving for something special? What are you planning to spend your savings on?
Answers will vary.
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