The students in Grade 4 recently completed their Unit of Inquiry about marketplaces. Although the students were well aware of what a market place was, they soon realized they had little idea of how to achieve their goal of holding a successful market of their own. And so the journey began…
The first step was producing lists of potential products then conducting market research to identify products they would sell. Next came the challenge of creating a business plan where they decided their marketing strategies and identified their finances. This involved calculating their expected sales, expenses, and anticipated profits. To complicate things each group was given their ‘capital’, with any additional costs having to be taken out in the form of a ‘loan’ that would have to be repaid from their profits.
Following that came the advertising in the form of posters, flyers, TV adverts and word of mouth. Just before the big day arrived each group decided where to place their stalls, having to pay ‘rent’ according to location.
Finally the big day arrived – and what a day it proved to be. Products being sold included computer games, lucky dips, and a wide range of food and drink. With a constant stream of customers, the skills the students learned were put to the test, particularly with their money handling. Many displayed a competitive streak by undercutting the prices of their competitors, offering special deals, bargaining over prices, and even improvising new products.
We were all exhausted and elated after it was all over, particularly when it came to counting their profits. But reality sunk in after loans, rent, and expenses were repaid, the net profit calculated and compared to their predicted profits. Some groups made healthy profits and others a loss, but we all found it to be a great experience where we all learned a lot.
All that now remains is to decide where to donate the money we raised – not an easy decision to make!