Lesson 1: Introduction to Enterprise


Students will:

  • Understand the general method of the enterprise project
  • Define barter and trade
  • Think critically about the value of money in relation to everyday commodities

Skills: Analysis, brainstorming, and problem solving

Setting: Classroom

Time: 50 minutes


School Champion

(Using Key words: Students can create a glossary, in books or on wall in classroom (word wall). Students are encouraged to practice using vocab in written or verbal sentences – perhaps writing example sentences and displaying them. Students could earn points for using the vocab in novel sentences each week).


In this lesson, students will meet a School Champion who will discuss how to create an idea and develop it into a successful business plan. Students will brainstorm ideas with the help of the School Champion and also come up with their Rules for Discussion.

Teacher Background:

(Please read the Enterprise Project Introduction before beginning the lessons.) ?Brainstorm Enterprise Project ideas with your School Champion volunteer and the class.

When establishing ground rules for discussion about money and finances, keep in mind that these rules apply to the classroom as a whole. However, money and income can be sensitive topics, so be sure to stress the importance of respect.

These rules should:

  • Enable students to talk or write about financial matters without the need to make personal disclosures about family circumstances
  • Encourage constructive discussion, promoting respect for alternative points of view
  • Promote respect, courtesy, responsibility and understanding
  • Help minimize embarrassment and comments of a negative nature

The following is a list of example rules for class discussions (See rules activity below):

  • Respect the opinions of others
  • This is a judgment-free zone
  • Listen to each other
  • Don?t laugh at other people?s ideas
  • Speak in a kind voice
  • No put-downs
  • Treat people the way you would like to be treated
  • Don?t talk while the teacher is talking



  • Garden Journals


  • Stickie Notes
  • MyPlate Diagram
  • Enterprise Project Assignment 1 (3 copies per page, cut before class)


Be prepared to have students work in groups for part of the activity.


Establish ground rules for discussions during their Enterprise Curriculum program.

In groups, have students answer the following questions:
How do you want me to treat you?
How do you want to treat one another?
How do you think I want to be treated?
How should we treat one another when there?s a conflict?

Ask groups to share their thoughts with the class. Write responses down on the board. If a response is repeated, put a star or check mark next to it.

Pass out stickie notes to groups (? note per student).

Ask students to write down their favorite rule and write an example of that rule.

Have students stick the notes to the edges of a large sheet of chart paper.

Write the most important rules the students picked in the middle of the chart paper.

Ask students to think about any other rules they would like to add, or ones they want to change.


Introduce the School Champion to your class. Explain that the he/she will describe how they got a job/became an entrepreneur/started their own business, etc. (Give the SC >20 minutes to present.)

Begin brainstorming for the Enterprise Project by writing a list on the board of the different challenges faced by their local community. These could be any number of things from too much trash in the streets to a lack of grocery stores.

Have the students narrow down their selection to challenges related to food, health or education.

After narrowing down the list of challenges, choose one challenge that relates in some way to the school garden (have kids vote).

Have students brainstorm solutions to the challenge. Explain that these solutions/ business ideas should involve the school garden, and the intention is to make money to invest back into the garden. [Examples include: selling food from the garden, educating community about composting (donation-based), selling a garden calendar, a recipe book, a storybook or comic book, etc.]

Keep track of the students ideas by writing a list of ??Solutions/Enterprise Ideas? on the board. Have one student write down the ideas.

Note that in Lesson #2 students will form groups and choose an Enterprise Project. They will create a Business Plan to present in Lesson #4.

Enterprise Project Homework

Pass out the Enterprise Project Assignment 1.

Tell students that for homework they must write the answers to the four questions in their garden journals, and that they should write grammatically correct complete sentences as their work will be checked the following class.


Review the different solutions/Enterprise Project Ideas and briefly discuss the possibility of each idea.


Activity 1

Assign students to write a hypothetical story about a classroom where no one followed the rules.

What would the classroom look like?
How would the students act toward one another?
How would the students interact with the teacher?
Use this writing activity to encourage students to appreciate the rules they created and to respect one another and the classroom.

Activity 2

In this activity, groups of students will represent farmers in a town. The goal of this activity is to discover the monetary value that students place on different food items.

Separate the class in 4 groups, which will comprise a complete town. Each group represents an agricultural producer.

The four groups are:

Dairy farmers (glass of milk & stick of butter)
Vegetable farmers (bunch carrots & sack of potatoes)
Poultry farmers (carton of eggs & whole chicken)
Grain farmers (loaf of bread & bag of oats).

Have each student draw the two items they represent on two small pieces of paper. [Ex: If I were in the poultry farmers group, I would draw a carton of eggs and a whole chicken.]

Ask the farmers from each group to suggest different meals they could make with the different foods they were assigned. Ex: If you are a dairy farmer, what could you make with a glass of milk? What about a stick of butter?

The examples below are guidelines for this discussion:
Dairy Farmer: Glass of Milk = hot chocolate, pancakes, cereal, etc. Stick of Butter = frying, baking, cookies, on toast, etc.
Vegetable Farmer: Bunch of Carrots – carrot salad, roasted carrots etc. Sack of Potatoes – french fries, hash browns, mashed potatoes, baked potato, etc.


Discuss the activity and what kinds of experiences the kids had while trading. Bring the vocabulary words into the discussion.

What did the students enjoy most about bartering their goods?
Was everyone satisfied with their goods at the end of the market?
Were there any surprises about which items could be traded for more/less?
What were the most popular items?
What did the students want, but couldn?t trade for?
Why was one item more important than another item?

Have the individual farmers come up with a price or dollar value for their two food items (a poultry farmer, comes up with prices for a carton of eggs and a whole chicken) based on their experience at the farmer?s market.

Draw 8 columns on the board and label them using each food item.
Have each individual farmer write their proposed value for their items on the board.
Once all values are recorded, average the numbers for each column to discover the value of each item created by the farmers.
Have the farmers write down the values of each item in their Garden Journals. (Advanced groups – If items were split in half, create a price for these items as well, in which case 16 columns should be drawn on the board.)
Suggested price range: Dollar amounts should not be below 50 cents or above 20 dollars.
Poultry Farmer: Carton of Eggs – fried eggs, baked goods, scrambled eggs, Easter eggs, deviled eggs, quiche, cakes, etc. Whole Chicken – chicken soup, roasted chicken, fried chicken, chicken tandoori, chicken tenders, chicken quesadillas, etc.
Grain Farmer: Loaf of Bread – sandwiches, toast, bread crumbs, french toast, grilled cheese, etc. Bag of Oats – add to cookies, oatmeal, meatloaf, oat pilaf, etc.

Now, gather the ?town? together at the ?farmer?s market? where students meet, trade and barter with other farmers.

Explain the rules of the game:

Once the market opens, farmers are allowed to trade their goods for someone else?s goods.
Everyone must trade at least once with a farmer from a different group.
You can only trade your original two items.
(More advanced groups – farmers can trade half ?their goods (tear the paper in half) for something they value less than their original whole good OR for half of another good of equal value.)

The class has five minutes or less to trade and once trading is complete, students return to their seats.


Discuss the activity and debrief with the students. Some example discussion questions:

Which items did you want but couldn?t trade for?
Why was chicken, for example, more important than potatoes?
Which item or good had the least value and which had the most?
Why are some items valued more than others?
What factors helped determine the value of items? (demand for item at the farmer?s market, quantity or size of items produced by farmer, etc.)
What was most challenging about the barter and trade activity in class?
Why do you think we don?t barter and trade anymore in our society?
What lesson(s) did you learn about the value of food?


Barter: an exchange of goods without involving money.

Trade: the exchange of goods or services among two or more parties.

Originally, trade had to be negotiated through barter. Nowadays, trade is negotiated through the use of a medium of exchange, i.e. money, and rarely through barter.]


Lesso 1: Intro to Enterprise

Lesson 1 Assignment: Enterprise Project