Learning 13 Feb 2018

Outdoor learning at a wet market

By Jill Rivers, Grade 2 teacher
Photograph by CIS Communications

Grade 2-1 had a wonderful learning opportunity at the wet market near school in November. By walking over to a local market community, they got to witness how day-to-day trade works and see first-hand the importance of economics, persuasion, advertisements, arrangement of displays, needs and wants and the value of money. The questions they asked were based on the observations they made, which extended learning beyond the classroom.

Our purpose was to examine how human made systems of trade help us obtain our needs and wants. In order to explore human made trade systems and understand our needs and wants, the parent volunteers asked students pre-drafted questions and help them complete the following tasks:

TASK 1:   Students observe a local market.  Students will be asked to use their observation, thinking and research skills to gather info on the following:

  • How are the market stalls arranged?  

  • Which features are important in the market?

  • How are the participants acting towards each other?  (buyer-seller relationships)

  • Observation of a general or specific system in place (ie:  sell and pay/ money transactions, role of advertisements - text, colours, images - to cater to needs and wants)

Have discussions - take turns - have students explain their thinking… (they will have a reflection to do later today).

TASK 2:  On this trip, students will explore how to be responsible participants in a market system when they bargain, calculate, make decisions, budget and purchase goods with the limited $ 1.50 SGD on hand.  They will buy fruit for our Fruit Salad party at the end of the day today.

  1. Take students around to stalls to buy fruits.

  2. Assist but encourage students to independently bargain, make decisions, calculate, record and purchase the fruits with their $ 1.50 SGD to maximise responsibility skills.

  3. Use the recycled bag to hold the fruit - let’s try to limit the use of plastic bags.

When we were at the market, we looked at how things are advertised and how people are persuaded. How did they write about what they are selling? How did they advertise it to shoppers in the hope of persuading them to buy it? For example, there was a vendor who was just yelling out what’s on offer! We had the opportunity to observe how a product is sold, and then thought about other ways of selling and advertising.

Not only did we observe supply and demand, we got to use our math skills in a real life context when we purchased goods from the market. When making a purchase themselves, students had to use real life addition and subtraction as they calculated what they had to pay or what they should expect as change.

Thank you to the parent volunteers who came to the market and bought fruit for us to eat at the end of the day.