My Business and Industry Notebook

Welcome back for the Annexation edition of a peek inside my Texas History INB. If you would like to check out previous entries on setting up your notebookmapsregions of TexasNative Americans, European explorers, Spanish Missions, Colonization, the Texas Revolution, Republic of Texas, Annexation, Statehood, the Civil War, the Oil BoomFrontier Texas, Symbols and Cultures, or the Early 20th Century just click on the title. 
A blog post full of notebook pictures, recommended read alouds, ideas, and tips for teaching the unit.
This unit is always a really fun one for students, and depending on the amount of time that you are able to spend on it you can really make it come alive! Traditionally I have not been able to get to this unit until the last month of school when, you guessed it, testing is done for the year and we have a little, emphasis on little, more time to spend on social studies.

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.
Before we get too deep into our unit, the Free Enterprise System has to be discussed. Most fourth graders are well versed in this system since they spent a lot of third grade talking about it, and participating in something along the lines of a market day. When I ask my students what they remember most about it, most say it is supply and demand which is a pretty good place to start. The fold-up above keeps the conversation going.

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. 
Then we discuss oil, technology, manufacturing, tourism, logging, and the service industry. Depending on where you live in Texas, one of these industries may provide you with an ideal field trip!
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!
A blog post full of notebook pictures, recommended read alouds, ideas, and tips for teaching the unit.

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