Children's Books About Economics

Some of you Fire Escape visitors might not know that before I became a mommy-slash-writer, I taught political science and international relations as a visiting professor at Pepperdine University.

My biggest challenge was standing at the board struggling to explain economic principles to my increasingly befuddled students. If only I had known back then what I know now — that kid lit can be used to teach almost anything.

Yana Rodgers, director of the Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children, sent me this nice review of Rickshaw Girl published on EconKids, a rich (pun intended) site featuring children's books that teach economics. Here's the site's mission statement:
This website provides teachers, parents, and volunteers with ideas for using children's literature to introduce economics to children. This site also reviews new books from leading publishers and makes selections for Book of the Month and Top Five categories. Unlike many of the existing websites on economics education, EconKids focuses on younger students in elementary school.
Did you know that children's books, for example, can teach the following economic concepts?
  • Barter
  • Capital Resources
  • Child Schooling and Work
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Goods/Services
  • Human Resources
  • Innovation
  • Interdependence
  • Markets and Competition
  • Money/Banking
  • Natural Resources
  • Opportunity Cost
  • Producers/Consumers 
  • Saving
  • Scarcity
  • Unemployment


sahara said…
Hey Mitali!!! I am a HUGE fan of your First Daughter series!!! I have a blog, too!! It is Please check it out!! Ok, bye!
I never thought about teaching this in elementary school, but it's a great idea. Thanks for the inspiration!!!
campbele said…
Economics is such a basic part of everyday life that it can be found everywhere. When we use stories, movies or poems to teach it, then students begin to realize why learnding decision making (i.e., economics) is so important. "Caps for Sale" is a great way to teach some of the principles. Last summer, I discovered how wonderful the movie "You've Got Mail" is for teaching Economics.

Yeah, I'm currently a librarian, but I began with a degree in Economics and spent some time as a high school social studies teacher.
Gloria said…
hey thats cool check out