Abstract 8- Volume 2, Number 2, Summer 2007

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 2, Number 2, Summer 2007



Notable Trade Book Lesson Plan: The City of Ember and The People of Sparks

Lynne Farrell Stover
James Madison University Center for Economic Education

Barbara F. Haynes
Virginia Council on Economic Education


Using children’s literature to teach economics is a good method of making unclear concepts seem logical and authentic and has been used effectively by primary school educators for many years. However, finding a popular book that contains clear and comprehensible examples of economic choice, goods and services, and supply and demand at the upper elementary/middle school level can be a challenge. Meeting this challenge is Jeanne DuPrau’s Ember Series, a compelling futuristic cautionary tale that encourages its readers to think seriously about the allocation of limited resources and the consequences of planning for the future. This interactive lesson takes a situation from a book’s plot and applies it to economic principle “voluntary trade creates wealth.

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About the Author(s)…

Lynne Farrell Stover is a Teacher Consultant at the James Madison University Center for Economic Education. She has a Master’s degree in Library Science and Educational Media and also holds endorsements in Art Education, Gifted Education, and Middle Education for grades 4-8. She is the author of five teacher resource books including Fantastic Social Studies Lessons Using Literature published by Pieces of Learning. Contact Information: stoverlf@jmu.edu

Barbara F. Haynes is currently an Economics Education Consultant for the Virginia Council on Economic Education. She has a Master’s of Instruction degree in Economic Education as well as teaching endorsements in history, economics, and business education. She has served as the team leader and principal writer for a project that identified the economic concepts taught a part of the Virginia’s History and Social Science Standards of Learning. As a writer for Modern Curriculum Press, she prepared the correlation of the history and Social Science Standards of Learning to the One and Only Sense/Cents Series, grades K-3, grades 4-5, and grade 7.  She also developed the curriculum and teacher’s manual for the Global Economies course implemented at the high school level by Henrico County Public Schools. Contact Information:vceehaynes04@yahoo.com