Thursday, August 1, 2013

School House Rock: Money

School House Rock: Money

Elk Grove Village, IL: Disney Educational Productions, 2008.  1597531995

Quantitative Reading Level: 

The video says it is appropriate for grades K-9.  

Qualitative Reading Analysis:

I would rate this as Middle High on the “Text Complexity: Qualitative Measures Rubric for Informational Tax”.  The fact that these are cartoons makes it seem that they are “easy” but the content is actually quite complex.  There is a lot in these videos about tax, budgeting, and so on.  In addition, because they are songs the information goes really fast and it may be hard for students to get it all the first time.

This video has the following episodes:
Dollars and Sense: Talks about money, borrowing from a bank, and paying interest.  There is a good lesson about using common sense when using money.
$7.50 Once a Week: This episode talks about how a boy uses his allowance and how he can spend and save.
Where the Money Goes: This episode talks about budgeting and where a family’s income goes.
Tax Man Max: This episode talks about what taxes are, what they are used for, and how people pay them. 
Walkin’ on Wall Street: This episode talks about investing and stocks.
This for That: This episode talks about bartering and early money.  This might be one that could be used with younger students.  Sometimes students in second grade talk about communities and very early economics and they might be able to incorporate this.  Also when people study early peoples (Native Americans) they talk about bartering so this could be used then as well.
The Check’s in the Mail: This episode talks about checks. 
Tyrannosaurus: Oy, this episode talks about the national debt.  Goodness, comparing it to a Tyrannosaurus.  My oh my, this could open up a big discussion.

Content Area: Math - money

Curriculum Suggestions: 

 The best use of these clips is when you are studying the specific concepts in math class rather than watching the whole videos.  I would also say that they need to be viewed more than once to actually understand the “songs”.  There are additional resources on the DVD for teachers.

Personal Thoughts: 

I would not say this is appropriate for grades K-9.  The content would be way over the head of K-3 and would just be used for “babysitting”.  After about 5th grade it would be too childish.  I think the ideal ages for this is 4th and 5th grades but some of the concepts are a bit complex even for those ages.

When I think about watching School House Rock during Saturday morning cartoons I know I did not have a clue what they meant at first.  But, since I had listened to them so many times over the years when it came to studying conjunctions later in life I could remember “Conjunction Junction” or learning about government I remembered “I’m Just a Bill”.  If you did use this with younger students it would be with the understanding that it is being absorbed and may be accessed later.

High Interest Annotation: School House Rock is back with episodes about money.

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