A fully resourced, whole term, cross curricular project for upper primary classes.
During the Starter For Ten project, your class will form businesses in small groups with a £10 loan. Over four weeks each business will hold four sales or events with the aim of making as much profit as possible for the whole class.
The project gives pupils control over key decisions including how to spend any class profit and whether to act as philanthropists and donate a percentage to charity. Giving the pupils ownership in this way provides a highly motivating learning opportunity with cross-curricular links to literacy, numeracy, health and well being, social studies, religious and moral education and technologies.
The project spans a full term. Prior to the four weeks in which the businesses actually run, it is suggested that around six weeks are taken to cover thirteen of the fourteen lessons. These lessons are fully resourced and linked to the Scottish Curriculum For Excellence. They are designed to take the class, step by step through the process of acquiring the skills they will need to run a successful business. Each lesson includes a detailed lesson plan, a PowerPoint presentation and any additional resources and worksheets required.
Lesson 1: Starter For Ten Introduction
This lesson provides an introduction to the ‘Starter For Ten’ project without yet explaining the full project to the children. The class learns what an entrepreneur is and discusses why people might want to be entrepreneurs. A range of quotes spark discussions relevant to entrepreneurship. Following the presentation, the children work in small groups to create and present a poster about a well-known entrepreneur to the rest of the class.
Lesson 2: Could You Be An Entrepreneur?
In this lesson the class discuss the qualities of successful entrepreneurs. They then relate these to themselves and identify their own qualities which could help them when they start their business. More detail of the ‘Starter For Ten’ project is given to the pupils in this lesson. The children then form themselves into business groups and begin brainstorming business ideas.
Lesson 3: Why Start A Business?
In this lesson the children will make some key decisions, as a whole class. First the children decide what they would like to do with any profit the businesses within the class make. Next they learn about philanthropy and Andrew Carnegie. They then have to decide together whether to pledge a percentage of any profits to charity. If they decide to do so, the children then agree what percentage they will donate. The class also decide whether to compare how individual businesses are doing throughout the project. Finally, the class agree a ‘Class Business Charter’.
Lesson 4: Your Business Idea
During this lesson the class will discuss the constraints which the businesses will operate under. Each business will consider their customer base and the likelihood of their ideas making a profit. They will then choose the business idea which they want to run and present their idea to the rest of the class. Each group will then write a business outline which they will present to the Head Teacher in order to be granted permission to operate.
Lesson 5: Creating A Corporate Identity
In this lesson the children will consider what makes a good business name and logo. They will then work in their business groups to create their own name and logo.
Lesson 6: Finding Your Role
In this lesson the children learn about different roles within businesses. The class discusses the four different roles which will be adopted by individual children within each business. Following group discussions, the children agree their roles and complete a worksheet in which they explain why they are best suited to that particular role.
Lesson 7: Choosing A Charity
This lesson can be skipped if the class voted not to contribute a percentage of any profits to charity in lesson 3.
In this lesson the children think about issues which concern them and research charities which take action on these issues. After research on the internet the children present their chosen charity to the class. A confidential vote is then taken to choose the charity which the class will donate to.
Lesson 8: Setting The Price
During the lesson the children will work in their business groups to decide what they should charge for their product or service. Each business will identify the costs of the items they will need. They will then look at the different options they might have and how these options will affect their income. The businesses will then decide a cost for their product or service.
Lesson 9: Market Research
During this lesson the uses of Market Research for businesses are discussed using a theoretical business ‘The Pencil Case Company’ as an example. The children then design, conduct and present their own market research.
Lesson 10: Writing A Business Plan
During this lesson the children will learn about what a business plan is and why businesses create them. They will discuss a theoretical example of a business plan as a whole class. Each business will then work together, using the information they have gathered so far, to create their own business plan. Ideally this should be done on a computer by filling in the business plan template. If this is not possible, the business plans could be written by hand.
Lesson 11: Advertising
In this lesson the children will learn about what advertising is and how it works. They will discuss features of effective adverts and some advertising techniques. The children will then work in their business groups to design posters to advertise their products or services.
Lesson 12: Counting The Cash
In this lesson the children will learn a number of financial terms. They will find out about the financial records which they will keep. The class will look at their cash flow sheet and discuss how to complete it. They will then look at the Excel spreadsheet which will be their balance sheet. After experimenting with the spreadsheet and discussing the purpose of the formula bar, the businesses will save a balance sheet to use throughout the project.
Lesson 13: Progress Report
In this lesson the children will consider how and why they should review how their business is doing after each sale. The businesses will be provided with a PowerPoint presentation template which they will use to present their reviews to the rest of the class. The children will discuss identifying what has gone well and what could be improved and also how to make a plan so they can achieve improvements. It is suggested that, following this lesson, each business creates a progress report PowerPoint after each of their four sales.
Lesson 14: Closing Time
In this lesson the children learn about closing a business down. The final whole class income is discussed and the pupils evaluate the work they have done in the Starter For Ten project.
Funding the project.
Groups such as the school PTA should be approached for funding for the £10 per group start up cost. The class business groups should be guided throughout the running of their businesses but they should still be allowed the freedom to make their own decisions, even if these decisions lead them to fail to make a profit. While this might mean businesses lose their £10 loan money, they should not be allowed to make any further loss. During the project, parents are asked to approve their child’s business plan and to underwrite part of the £10 start up cost. This should enable all money loaned to be recouped in the unlikely event of businesses failing. The learning opportunities which arise from such a real-world context are infinitely more valuable than the cost of the start up loans.
Spending Any Profit
Any profits made by the class business groups at the end of the project are pooled together. Before starting to sell, the class set goals for what they would like to spend any profit on. The children are encouraged to set bronze, silver and gold targets to cover making a small amount of money, a moderate amount of money and a larger amount of money. The class aims are costed and displayed throughout the project to enable the children to see what they are working towards. The class also decide whether or not to donate a percentage of any profit to charity. If they do decide to do this, the children agree which charity this should be.
Each lesson has a detailed lesson plan, linked to a PowerPoint presentation. All lesson plans include the following sections:
Lesson Series Name
Main Lesson Details
Further Development Suggestions
Opportunities For Display
Relevant Second Level Curriculum For Excellence Experiences and Outcomes
Timing for individual lessons is not provided as this will depend on the details of the class and should be at the professional judgement of the class teacher. The pace of the project as a whole should be kept high to keep the momentum for the businesses. Ideally, the project should be started at the beginning of a term and should be completed by the end of that term. The bulk of the work is in learning about business, forming groups, generating ideas and planning for running a business. This is accomplished through lessons one to eleven. These lessons should be completed over around six weeks. Once these lessons are completed, the businesses could begin running. Lessons twelve and thirteen could be completed before the businesses start selling or during the first week of sales. During the four weeks the businesses are running there are no further lessons. During this time the children will consolidate their learning in running their businesses, managing their finances, and giving review presentations. Once all the businesses have completed their four sales, lesson fourteen concludes the project.
Pupils should be responsible for all handling of money within their business. They should be given their £10 start up loan to take away from school and spend on the resources they need. It must be stressed to the children that, while they are free to decide what they need to purchase, they must provide receipts for all money spent. The children are provided with cash flow sheets to complete by hand and balance sheets to complete on computers using Excel spreadsheets. The children should also be responsible for handling money during their sales or events and for counting their money after each sale. However, it is suggested that the class teacher should be responsible for keeping all cash secure (ideally within a cash box or safe). Money from sales or change from purchases should be deposited with the teacher, who acts as a bank to the groups. When the business needs cash to purchase further resources, they simply ask to make a withdrawal from their funds.
Letters To Parents
Four editable letter templates are included in the project. Three of these are aimed at parents of the children starting the businesses. The other letter is aimed at all parents within the school.
Letter 1 should be sent out to parents of all children in the class at the very start of the project. The children will be excited about the project and will inevitably talk about it at home. It is best to explain the project to parents as early as possible.
Letter 2 should be sent to parents following lesson 10. A copy of each child’s business plan should be included with the letter.
Letter 3 is aimed at all parents within the school. This should be sent out just before the businesses begin their sales. This allows parents to understand the project and provide their children with money to participate as consumers.
Letter 4 should be sent out part way through sales, if it is judged necessary by the class teacher.
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