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Wakefield Students Learn Economics at Market Day

Students scurry around the room, looking for their favorite item, trying to cut a deal. Others laugh, squeal with joy when they buy a stress ball or sell a bookmark, and quickly realize the value of a dollar.

Third-grade students at Wakefield Elementary took part in their first Market Day, a hands on experience designed to expand their study on economics.

“We are learning what products are in high demand and how that demand affects the market,” Wakefield teacher Michelle St. Amour said. “We are also learning how people make money and spend money.”

Students at Market Day Students got a sense of entrepreneurship through the experience. They made their own products – wands, jewelry, bookmarks, pet rocks – set their prices, and opened up for business. Other classes visited their “store” and bought items they wanted.

“I learned that if some people are running out of their money, you could lower your price so you could sell more,” Zoe Dunn said. “I would lower my price if I were to do something different.”

Karson McLinsky didn’t sell out of his corner bookmarks, but learned about the value of an item and how that affects price and supply.

“I didn’t sell that many, but some people bought more than one, so I could tell they really liked them,” he said. “I think I would lower my price, too.”

The Market Day lesson provided students a real-world look into the world of business, including how and where items are sold, how business owners set their price, and how overhead impacts profit.

“I learned that some businesses don’t have a store you go to,” Emersyn Vickers said. “Some of them sell door to door and other ways and that changes how much they make.”

In its first year, Market Day was successful and teachers were impressed with the students’ participation and the impact of the experience. Students were awarded for their product presentation and highest profit margin.

“I think our students will have these experiences later on and this will help them with that,” third grade teacher Theresa Upchurch said. “The important thing is that they learn about supply and demand and what it’s like in real life.”

Emily Parks