Teachers Workshop Uses Chocolate to Demonstrate Economics
Some area teachers are back in class for a summer workshop that uses a sweet treat as a tool in economics lessons.
“There you go thank you.”
Teachers swap snickers and milky ways for butterfingers.
The class is called chocolate economics. Lessons all say are easier to teach kids with a tasty tools on hand.
Kaye Hardy who teaches junior high students in Pleasanton says, “First of all having candy increases the interest in the kids. You’ve immediately gotten their attention.”
Some teachers traded in pieces, others entire bags. Some blindly.
“I learned something from it. I made a really, really bad trade that’s something I could use as an example,” says Northeast High School personal finance Dustin McMurry.
McMurry says of the class, “There’s stuff on scarcity of resources, there’s stuff on being able to manage your personal funds, making sure you’ve got resources, how to allocate those to what you want and goal setting.”
Hardy says it applies to her science and health classes. “I have brought up supply and demand when we’re talking about third world countries and how they get their farming and everything. I think I can use it there with showing the kids how supply and demand tells us what is grown and where we grow it and that kind of thing.”
“WeighWeight wiseme out way ahead on my trade,” says one teacher. “Probably the hershey’s kisses weighed as much as one of these, (chocolate bars showing three) so I probably got a 300 percent increase in the chocolate that I had.”
Besides trade the twenty-two students are learning about how chocolate is produced and marketed. All concepts that can be shared in the classroom.
Melissa Lovell a second grade teacher at George Nettles elementary says, “I like learning about economics because it’s real life, everyday things that we go through. That’s what we try to teach kids too. Real life activities, things that are going to happen in real life.”
Professor of Education in Teaching Leadership, Kenny McDougle says the main point made in the class for students is “decision making from limited resources, to get them thinking about making wise decisions and knowing that every decision has a consequence. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
Dustin McMurry says, “It makes things more fun when they can see that at the end there’s some reward. Eat the chocolate when they’re finished. But it definitely is a motivator.”
Even these adult students were ready to eat their assignment.
In previous workshops McDougle had the class used play-doh.
Upcoming economics workshops focus on the Mysteries of Economics,
where teaching students will play Sherlock Holmes and another one includes a field trip to the federal reserve bank in Kansas City.