A class project to make and sell handmade bird feeders is providing an early exposure to business for second graders.
At Roosevelt Elementary School in Detroit Lakes, the young students are making bird feeders to be sold as part of their social studies class. They recently visited a pet store and produced their own bird feeders to be sold in that store.
“Basically, it’s a unit that matches up with the second grade career exploration,” said DLHS School-to-Work Coordinator Vern Schnathorst, “The Minnesota Department of Education assigns a different field on the career wheel to each grade, so this is part of their social studies curriculum on consumers and producers.”
The field trips began a dozen years ago, and are organized by Schnathorst with second grade teacher Craig Bahr. All second graders participate.
It may seem premature to expose second graders to business, but according to Schnathorst, the children are exposed to a variety of business features, and learn about how those involve math and social studies.
Children made the bird feeders using milk jugs. They mix the birdseed and weigh it precisely before putting it in the jugs. They also label the jugs with the contents. The pet store has regular customers who look forward to the sale.