Employability skills, financial literacy, technology literacy and civic literacy are components of the Iowa Core Curriculum’s 21st Century Skills and are all part of the Sixth Grade Christmas Bazaar, an annual tradition at St. Paul the Apostle School.
The sixth-graders learn valuable skills about running a business and start their preparations for the big day weeks in advance. They examine advertising strategies, analyze their customer base, design logos and slogans, and give persuasive speeches. They develop business plans that are presented to officers at Quad City Bank & Trust in order to get loans. This money is used to buy the supplies needed to make their items. After the bazaar, profits are figured out and the loans are repaid.
Each December the rest of the school looks forward to shopping for handmade, affordable items to give to families and friends.
This project fits in well with the 21st Century Skill requirement of the Iowa Core Curriculum, which states that students should be taught skills needed to thrive in the future economy. The project requires each of these “survival skills:” (1) critical thinking and problem solving, (2) collaboration and leadership, (3) agility and adaptability, (4) initiative and entrepreneurialism, (5) effective oral and written communication, (6) accessing and analyzing information, and (7) curiosity and imagination.
Not only are sixth-graders satisfying the needs of their customers for affordable Christmas gifts, they are also getting ready for their own futures in the global environment of the 21st century.