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Lesson Plan

Combining Read-Alouds With Economics in the Primary Grades

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Combining Read-Alouds With Economics in the Primary Grades

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 10- to 30-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Shelby Hawthorne

Williamsburg, Virginia


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Teachers can begin teaching economic concepts using many of the same books they already use to teach literary elements. This lesson uses two books, Charlie Needs a Cloak by Tomie dePaola and A Symphony for the Sheep by C.M. Millen, to provide early exposure to economic concepts while encouraging reading comprehension. Prereading and postreading discussions and activities promote vocabulary building and analytical thinking. Students gain knowledge of the economic terms "natural resource" and "producer" as they make text-to-world connections. Teachers can assess students' understanding of the economic concepts by having students use simple graphic organizers.

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Interactive Venn Diagram: Thus tool makes it easy for students to compare and contrast the different types of economic concepts.

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Rodgers, Y.V., Hawthorne, S., & Wheeler, R.C. (2007). Teaching economics through children's literature in the primary grades. The Reading Teacher, 61, 4655.

Reading quality children's books aloud allows teachers to combine literature lessons with teaching economic content. There are numerous books, many already familiar to teachers, that deal with economic issues.


Lane, H.B., & Wright, T.L. (2007). Maximizing the effectiveness of reading aloud. The Reading Teacher, 60(7), 668675.

By using research-based methods, teachers can increase the effectiveness of reading aloud. Books chosen for reading aloud can match curriculum goals.


Laminack, L.L., & Wadsworth, R.M. (2006). Learning under the influence of language and literature: Making the most of read-alouds across the day. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Teachers can find at least six times a day to read aloud to students. Using books across content areas helps to build concepts, improve vocabulary, and support the development of language images.


Johnson, D. (2002). Web watch: Picture book read-alouds. Reading Online, 5. Available: http://www.readingonline.org/electronic/elec_index.asp?HREF=webwatch/picturebooks/index.html

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