Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Barter Day

Our 7th graders are learning about life in colonial America. An economic aspect of that time period was the use of bartering, exchanging goods and services, to get desired goods. Our class reenacted this today. The rules were simple. Students were to bring in things (3-5)they had laying around their rooms at home that they no longer attached any significance to (These had to be their own, not their brothers or sisters stuff.). The class was then given time to survey what their classmates had brought in. Then they were set to the task of bartering with each other to get what they wanted. We concluded class by having students explain the process they went through. We also discussed reasons for the replacement of this barter system with the cash system (Note-We discussed that people still exchange services today (I.E. One person may agree to help a friend put on a new roof in exchange for some automotive work on a car.)). As you can see from the video, it was a lively class.
On another note, the cash system was first introduced to New York State during the construction of the Erie Canal. Workers on the canal were given cash (50 cents a day) or scripts which they then exchanged at stores, hotels and restaurants along the canal. It must have been a "leap of faith" for these early cash receiving entrepreneurs!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think it would have been better if people actually partisipated in our 8th period class. It didnt look like anyone was having that much fun because not a lot of people were involved. So we kind of ruined it for are selfs.