In The Winter Crafts Store fifth grade students raised money for a field trip by working in teams to design, create, market, and sell a product for our Winter Crafts Store.
Essential Question: How do we work together to produce quality products and market them to make maximum profit?
Final product: a handcrafted product that has been refined through market research and financial analysis, produced in a large quantity for sale in the Winter Crafts store.
Key Academic Skills and Content: Students demonstrate language arts skills by creating a product proposal, marketing materials and product display. Students’ math skills are reinforced by counting money, making change, calculating unit cost and item and profit analysis. This project also addresses important life skills that students will need for future success. In particular, students are guided in filling out job applications, learning customer service skills, and matching their strengths to particular skill sets needed for jobs at the Winter Crafts store. With this experience, students learn how crucial collaboration is for meeting goals in the project and in life.
Suggested Duration: 6-8 weeks
Created with the support of the California Department of Education California Career Pathways Trust
Students created a handcrafted product that has been refined through market research and financial analysis, produced in a large quantity for sale in the Winter Crafts store.
You can see photos of several of these products below, as well as a portfolio of initial product ideas, and student-produced advertisements.
This project is a collaborative endeavor across the 5th grade level team. General education as well as special education teachers work together alongside the students to make the Winter Crafts Store a success. With a grade level project such as this, communication is crucial. Some advice would be to set aside “housekeeping time” to meet and go over details as needed. We found it useful to create a shared “to do” list where we added items as we thought about them. Then we would revisit the list separately and together to take care of action items when we had the time. Also, don’t be afraid to openly communicate with your fellow teachers about what is working well in your classroom and what isn’t going well. Spending a few minutes sharing with one another is often all that is needed to iron out the wrinkles in the flow of the project. The effort to work together as a teaching team and grade level makes for a memorable experience for the students.
Many students choose to apply for specific job opportunities within the Winter Crafts Store. Some of the job opportunities are store manager, cashier, and greeter. Students are taught the responsibilities of each job and choose which job for which they would like to apply. Students are instructed on how to properly fill out a job application and the importance of filling it out neatly and accurately as it gives the first impression to the employer. Students reflect heavily on what skills they can bring to their desired job as well as what job experience they have. The job experience component often leads to important discussions about the skills students may not know that they already have for their desired job. Upon successful job application, the students are “trained” by the teacher to perform their duties at the Winter Crafts Store.
Having an authentic audience is the core of what makes this project a success for students. From the beginning of the project, students are driven by the fact that the products they are creating will be bought by members of their school community. The students work to create and market their products to a specific target audience. This often requires students to think differently because they need to take the point of view of their customer and what they think their customer will want to purchase. For example, our students had to create products that would appeal to kindergartners as well as to members of the school board.
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