Elementary Schools

Elementary Schools

Junior Achievement’s Elementary School Program is a series of seven themes that help kindergarten through sixth-grade students learn about the U.S. economic system. Concepts and skills taught at each grade level build on those taught in preceding grades.

The Elementary School Program helps students to understand the:

  • Characteristics of the U.S. economic system
  • Relationship of basic economic concepts to their lives
  • Interdependence of citizens, businesses and government
  • Function of free enterprise in local, regional, national and global economic communities
  • Relevance of education to the workplace

Ourselves® is our kindergarten program designed to develop personal economic concepts through storybook characters presented by the volunteer in read-aloud stories and hands-on activities.

The students are introduced to a storybook character and his friends. Through a group discussion and by drawing pictures of themselves, they discover ways that individuals relate to each other. In subsequent lessons, the students learn how the storybook characters plan to earn money to buy something that they want, work together to earn money to buy something that they want, save money to buy a tent, and finally buy the tent. The average time for each activity is 25 minutes.

Students will: recognize the role of self, identify examples of daily economic activity, learn how workers depend on each other for success, recognize the importance of saving money, and recognize the role of the consumer.

Skills – Abstract thinking, Concrete thinking, Decision making, Drawing, Following directions, Graphing, Interpreting information, Listening responsively, Matching, Responsibility, Sequencing, Teamwork.

Our Families® is our 1st grade program designed to provide practical information about family members and their interdependence.

The students better understand what a family is by studying a poster. They discover how people in a family are alike and different, and how they work together to make the place where they live a good place to live. In following activities, the students become aware that all families must have food, clothing and shelter to live, and they begin to understand the difference between a want and a need. They will use a floor map to discover where members of a family would go to obtain their wants and needs. They learn how jobs provide for family members’ wants and needs, then draw pictures of family members doing jobs. Students learn about important skills people need for the work force, then identify and describe some common tools and associate them with the skills each requires.

Students will: identify what a family is, explain the difference between a want and a need, interpret map symbols, recognize how family members depend on various businesses to provide their wants and needs, identify where people work at jobs, become familiar with the meaning of tools and skills, and recognize that using tools on the job requires such skills as reading, writing, using numbers and listening to others.

Skills- Analyzing information, Decision making, Differentiating, Drawing, Following directions, Interpreting symbols, Listening responsively, Making observations, Map reading, Matching, Teamwork.

Our Community® is our 2nd grade program designed to provide practical information about businesses and the many occupations found in those businesses in a typical community.

The students study a poster illustrating a community to identify typical jobs. In other activities, they will work in teams to use different production strategies to simulate producing donuts. They learn about the economic role of government in a community by identifying services that the government provides to its citizens. The students determine the best use for an empty store, and they learn about money and why it is important to the community.

Students will: identify a variety of jobs in the community, compare unit and assembly line production methods and explain that different strategies are used to produce different types of products, understand why the government collects taxes to provide services for everyone, practice using a decision-making model, and recognize how money is used in a typical community.\

Skills- Comparing, Critical thinking, Decision making, Following directions, Identifying choices, Listening responsively, Making observations, Problem solving, Role playing, Teamwork.

Our City® is our 3rd grade program designed to provide practical information about businesses and the main occupations found in those businesses in a typical city.

The students recognize that a city is a place where people live, work, and play. They become aware of the importance of city planning to the economic development of a city. They become aware of jobs within the construction business. The students examine the role of a restaurant owner and become aware of the many people are needed to successfully operate a restaurant. They examine the role of a newspaper reporter and the purpose of a newspaper as a communication tool for people in a city. The students become aware of jobs within a bank and examine why banks are important to a city.

Students will: discuss the importance of city planning, understand the importance of the construction business to a city’s economy, understand the decisions that have to be made in order to start a restaurant, understand the importance of the newspaper as a communication tool, understand that one purpose of a bank is to keep money.

Skills- Applying information, Decision making, Filling out forms, Interpreting directions, Listening responsively, Map reading, News writing, Role playing, Teamwork, Understanding and using scale.

Our Region® is our 4th grade program designed to provide practical information about natural, human, and capital resources found in regions and used by businesses to produce goods and services.

The students use their prior knowledge to distinguish natural, human, and capital resources. They will discover that resources are found within regions of the United States. The students discover how resources come to businesses from throughout different regions, then research and organize resources needed to create a product. They will also identify how resources relate to business income and expenses. They complete a calculation to demonstrate how a business determines its profit or loss. They end by playing a game that illustrates the flow of money in and out of a business.

Students will: classify resources as natural, human, or capital, analyze resources in different regions, recognize economic interdependence in a region, define income and expenses, demonstrate how a business tracks income and expenses, and recognize the importance of profits to businesses.

Skills- Comparing, Compiling data, Conducting research, Following directions, Giving reports, Interpreting data, Locating resources, Organizing resources, Mathematical interpretation and computation, Problem solving, Recognizing similarities and differences, Teamwork, Understanding symbols.

Our Nation® is our 5th grade program designed to provide practical information about business operations and economic issues in the United States.

The students discover the common forms of business organization in the United States. They learn about the importance of human resources to a business. The students use three different strategies to make pens. They develop an understanding of how different production strategies affect productivity and profits. The students learn about the importance of advertising. Finally, the students present the results of their business plans before an annual meeting of stockholders.

Students will: identify the three common forms of business organization, list qualities employers look for in their employees, compare unit, mass, and batch production methods, identify different types of advertisements, and assume responsibility at the stockholders’ meeting while demonstrating their knowledge of business operations.

Skills- Assembling products, Building self-esteem, Calculating profit, Conducting interviews, Critical listening, Decision making, Drawing conclusions, Formulating a plan, Giving reports, Interpreting, conceptualizing, and designing advertisements, Justifying actions, Making observations, Role playing, Teamwork.

Our World® is the 6th grade program designed to introduce students to key aspects of global trade and to help them to understand how most countries are economically interdependent.

Students identify imports within their own classroom and use a world map to find their sources. They discover through a puzzle-solving activity that businesses often import and export goods and services to meet the wants and needs of the people in their countries. The students discuss how countries trade, and they are introduced to exchange rates. They engage in a trading activity that illustrates some of the complexities of global trade. They learn that different businesses struggle with different issues when trading globally. The students present their international marketing strategies, and explain their product, price, promotion and place decisions.

Students will: discover that businesses trade (import and export) in a global economy, examine various reasons businesses trade, identify the role of money in global trade, extract information from business case studies, demonstrate their knowledge of international trade.

Skills- Abstract reasoning, Collecting evidence, Constructing puzzles, Converting currencies, Critical listening, Distinguishing continents and countries, Drawing conclusions, Effective speaking, Listening, Map reading, Mathematical interpretation and computation, Note taking, Oral presentations, Relating text information to prior knowledge, Situational analysis, Teamwork.

Click here to download the Volunteer Participation Form, the Teacher Participation Form and Washoe County’s Adult School Volunteer Application Form.