Let Uncle Jed Help You Teach Social Studies
No matter how many times I read or listen to Uncle Jed's Barbershop (by Margaree King Mitchell), my eyes get misty. This short children's picture book, rich in historical and economic content, connects with our deeply held feelings about justice, sacrifice, and love. This book will give your students an affective connection to important topics in social studies.
Uncle Jed's Barbershop serves as an entry point for multiple topics. Some of these include opportunity cost, budgeting, saving, segregation, sharecropping, the Great Depression, and bank failures. Both SMART and Promethean white board files accompany the book and are available from the St. Louis Fed website (stlouisfed.org/education_resources/uncle-jeds-barbershop/).
An Uncle Jed lesson from the Philadelphia Fed
Andrew Hill, economic education adviser at the Philadelphia Fed, wrote a wonderful lesson plan for Uncle Jed's Barbershop thatincludes many of the topics that the book addresses. The lesson plan's main activity, which involves groups of students playing a fun card game, has each student setting and trying to achieve a savings goal. When they roll the dice, they face either an income-or expense-generating event. Students record these events on a simple budget document. All the income and expense event cards are relevant to a kid's world rather than the adult world. You can find this lesson plan on the Philadelphia Fed website (philadelphiafed.org/education/teachers/lesson-plans/UncleJedsBarbershop.pdf).
Links to other lesson ideas for Uncle Jed
Topic: The Great Depression
Version two is part of the St. Louis Fed's online instructor management panel. This interactive—and free—tool allows educators to assign students the Great Depression lessons, which they then complete online. Each student takes a pretest and then a test to document their progress on the content. Teachers can post their own discussion and polling questions for students. Student responses are available under the teacher's login; test scores are recorded in the teacher's gradebook in the instructor management panel. Teachers can register at bts.stlouisfed.org/econ_ed/online_learning/.
Topic: Bank failures
By Sherilyn Narker, economic and financial education specialist
March 5, 2014