Money Madness

Quick Rundown:
Author: David A Adler
Illustrator: Edward Miller
Grades: K-3
Blurb: “What’s all this madness about money? Long ago, people traded rocks or sheep for the items they wanted, but rocks were heavy and sheep ran away. This beginning guide to economics will have readers thinking about purpose and not just the value of money.”

Money Madness cover

About: Money is an important topic for students to understand and this book starts by looking at how our currency was started. It starts by talking about how people were self-sufficient and therefore hunted and gathered what they needed to survive. Eventually, they bartered to meet their needs and we still may see bartering happening today in the lunchroom. Care to trade your apple for my brownie? This bartering of items is the first kind of money because people took the items bartered and then turned around and traded those items for something they wanted. Some items had a higher value but needed to be fed like animals. Some items came in various sizes and weights, like rocks or feathers. So people wanted something that could cut into smaller pieces and not have to worry about being fed or the weight and each would have their own worth. Here we received our first coins. They were made out of metals. Once it became difficult to carry around many coins, paper money was invented. The book then discusses the different kinds of money used throughout the world and the value of the money varies between countries. Prices on items fluctuate: one day an item might cost $1 but the next day it might be two for $1. Checks and credit cards are used, too, as well as digital money.

Money Madness excerpt

Discussion Questions:
-Why did people have to hunt/gather or make the things they needed?
-Name 2-3 types of money we have today.
-Does everyone have the same kind of money?

Activities to try with the book:
-Differences: Since this book was created, there has been some changes to currency around the world. Find and print out the different types of currency you would find should you travel to different countries. It is fun to see how different they are-coins and paper money!
Learn: Start saving for something. This book would be a great introduction to start learning how to save. Today so many people are bogged down with debt so this would be a great opportunity to teach the importance of money and how spend and save smart. At home you might introduce “commissions” instead of an allowance where kids earn money for chores. At school, you could create a classroom economy system-buy items, earn salary.
Writing Prompt: Is money important? Explain.

Other books by David A Adler:
-Cam Jansen series
-A Picture Book of Harriet Tubman
-Things That Float and Things That Don’t
-Mystery Math: A First Book of Algebra
-Place Value


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