One of the ways that I like to use this new found time is by inviting guest speakers. Every city or small town has a plethora of small business owners that would LOVE to come and speak to your students. Ideally I try to get someone from each of the seven major areas of commerce in Texas, but some are easier than others to find. No matter whether we have one speaker or twenty though, my students have always been thrilled to have a guest visit.
Next we talk about imports v. exports and what that means in Texas. Of course fourth graders think that anything you could ever want comes from Texas, or China, this sort is a great way to flush things out.
From there we move onto the seven main industries in Texas. Agriculture is huge where we are and therefor gets its own fold-up where we talk about cash crops and ranching.
Finally, we finish up by discussing the differences between goods and services. One way to start this discussion is to have students pair-share about something they like to do or want and whether that is a good or a service. Then bring the discussion to a class level and talk about the difference and record them in the fold-up.
All in all, this unit is one that you can do a lot with, especially with community involvement!
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