School farmers market mixes fun with lessons in economics

IMG 3155JOHNSTON, IA. (March 23, 2022) — It was one of those fun annual events that hasn’t happened in two years.

Timber Ridge Elementary on Tuesday held its farmers market— a culminating event in economics where second graders chose what they wanted to sell, while the rest of the students decided what they wanted to buy.

From face painting to hand and back massages, bracelets, origami cranes, pencils, filled plastic Easter eggs, stamps and Play-Doh — the students enjoyed buying and selling their wares. Everything cost 25 cents. Students came to school ready with their quarters and excited to make a sale.IMG 3136

“They learn about being a consumer and a producer, about supply and demand,” said second-grade teacher Cheryl Lorenzen.

About 100 second-graders spent about three weeks preparing for this day.

They were instructed to choose an item or service that people would want to buy. They compared notes to avoid duplicates. They talked about how to display their items, and how to get customers’ attention with posters or slogans. They were told to be courteous and say “thank you” to customers.

One student received a tip in addition to the 25-cent payment for giving a massage. That offered another lesson about how, like a restaurant server, good service can warrant a tip.

IMG 3178“His face just lit up,” Lorenzen said.

Money raised from the farmers market will go toward charity — yet another lesson in economics. Second graders will vote on which charity they’d like to contribute to this year. In the past, about $700 has gone toward charities such as the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Puppy Jake Foundation and Children’s Cancer Connection.