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CROWN POINT — Second-grade students at Solon Robinson Elementary School were able to pitch their business ideas to a zoning board made up of their parents. 

Heather Corsey, a second-grade teacher at Robinson, built the recent event into the second-grade curriculum years ago, having students complete a project titled “My Community Store: Creating Your Dream Business.” This year, Corsey added another level to the project by inviting parents to participate as a “zoning board.” 

Parents gathered around a table and listened to students present their business ideas, and then filled out a “Zoning Board Approval Form.” They were able to give positive comments and approval. The sheets were later presented to the students, along with a certificate granting them a “City of Crown Point Business License.”

“The feedback I received from parents left me with a great feeling,” Corsey said. “Some said they were so glad to see their kids so focused on a project, they were just happy to be included as part of the zoning board, and even that these skills taken away from this project are those that they need later on in their adult lives.”

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Some business ideas included “Win the Game,” where people can get involved with new sports by trying them out at the store, and “Mix or Match,” which is matching clothes for adults, kids and pets. 

The project allowed students to demonstrate a basic understanding of economics, learning about goods and services, producers, consumers, earning and spending money and wants and needs. 

Corsey said students were very passionate about their ideas. She said topics and projects are often teacher-driven, but each student was really interested in their own ideas.

“It was really fun to see the different ideas they came up with by thinking outside the box or seeing things they were interested in that I didn’t know they were passionate about,” Corsey said. 

The project also addressed several state standards, even outside of social studies, which the project was focused on. 

“I could tell the students really understood the unit just by the questions they were asking during the presentations,” Corsey said. “It was interesting to hear the language and questions asked on a higher thinking level.  I was so impressed with the questions they came up with and even more so the answers to those questions.  It really showed me they learned what I taught.”

From here, while the project is over, Corsey is continuing to use their ideas in other ways, including using their store ideas and items in a story problem for math.

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