Elementary School ProgramsJA's elementary school programs are the foundation of its K-12 curricula. Six sequential themes, each with five hands-on activities, as well as an after-school and capstone experience, work to change students’ lives by helping them understand business and economics.
Classroom Based Programs
JA Ourselves® uses storybook characters in read-aloud and hands-on activities to introduce the role people play in an economy. Through engaging, volunteer-led activities, young students learn about individual choices, money, the importance of saving and giving, and the value of work. Recommended for kindergarten.
- Concepts – Barter, Benefit, Buying, Choices, Consumer, Costs, Earning, Entrepreneurs, Giving, Goods, Incentives, Income, Money, Resources, Rewards, Saving, Scarcity, Selling, Spending, Voluntary exchange, Wants, Work
- Skills – Abstract thinking, Coin recognition, Decision-making, Drawing, Following directions, Interpreting information, Listening responsively, Matching, Responsibility, Sequencing, Teamwork
JA Our Families® explains how family members' jobs and businesses contribute to the well-being of the family and of the community. The program introduces the concept of needs and wants and explores the ways families plan for and acquire goods and services. Students analyze their own skills to determine ways they can support their families. Recommended for first grade.
- Concepts – Business, Choices, Consumers, Economic institutions, Employment, Family, Incentives, Income, Interdependence, Jobs, Needs, Resources, Scarcity, Skills, Tools, Voluntary exchange, Wants, Work
- Skills – Analyzing information, Decision-making, Differentiating, Drawing, Following directions, Interpreting symbols, Listening responsively, Making observations, Map reading, Matching, Teamwork
JA Our Community® uses posters and games to offer practical information about business and the many jobs those businesses offer in a community. Students explore production methods through a simulation game, and they learn about taxes, decision making, and how money flows in an economy. Recommended for second grade.
- Concepts – Banking, Business, Choices, Circular flow of money, Community, Division of labor, Economic institutions, Goods, Government, Incentives, Interdependence, Jobs, Money, Productivity, Taxes
- Skills – Comparing, Critical thinking, Decision-making, Identifying choices, Listening responsively, Making observations, Matching, Problem-solving, Role-playing, Teamwork
JA Our City® introduces students to the characteristics of cities and how cities are shaped by zoning. Students also learn about the importance of money to a city; how financial institutions help businesses and city residents; and how the media is an integral part of a city's life. Students learn the role of an entrepreneur by exploring what it takes to open a restaurant. Recommended for third grade.
- Concepts – Banking, Business, Careers, City, Consumer, Economic institutions, Entrepreneur, Incentives, Income, Jobs, Money, Producers, Quality, Resources, Skills, Specialization, Zones
- Skills – Applying information, Conducting research, Decision-making, Filling out forms, Interpreting directions, Map reading, Math computations, News writing, Role-playing, Teamwork.
JA Our Region® introduces students to entrepreneurship and how entrepreneurs use resources to produce goods and services in a region. Students operate a hypothetical hot dog stand to understand the fundamental tasks performed by a business owner and to see how money comes into and goes out of a business. Recommended for fourth grade.
- Concepts – Business, Choices, Economy, Exchange, Expenses, Goods, Incentives, Income, Investment, Products, Profit, Region, Resources, Risk, Scarcity, Services, Specialization, Taxes.
- Skills – Comparing, Compiling data, Conducting research, Decision-making, Differentiating, Giving reports, Interpreting data, Math computations, Problem-solving, Reading, Teamwork, Understanding symbols.
JA Our Nation™ provides practical information about businesses' need for individuals who can meet the demands of the job market, including high-growth, high-demand jobs. By program's end, students will understand the skills, especially in science, technology, engineering, and math, that will make their futures brighter. Recommended for fifth grade.
- Concepts – Advertising, Capital resources, Career preparation, Communication, Competition, Corporation, Demand, Employees, Employers, Engineering, Entrepreneur, Free enterprise, Global competition, Goods, High-growth, High-demand jobs, Human resources, Natural resources, Opportunity costs, Partnerships, Price, Products, Profit, Resources, Resume, Scarcity, Services, Skills, Sole proprietorship, Specialization, Stock, Stockholders, Supply, Technology, Technophile, Technophobe
- Skills – Addition and subtraction, Brainstorming, Conceptualizing and designing advertisements, Creative thinking, Critical thinking, Decision-making, Drawing conclusions, Estimating, Evaluation, Following directions, Graphing and graph interpretation, Listening, Map reading, Problem solving, Reading and writing, Reasoning, Role-playing, Teamwork, Verbal communication, Working in groups.
After School Program
JA More than Money® teaches students about earning, spending, sharing, and saving money. It also identifies businesses that students can start or jobs they can perform to earn money. Students play a game to learn money-management skills and to better understand the role and importance of money in their lives. Recommended for grades three through five.
- Concepts – Advertising, Banking, Business planning, Consumer, Deposit, Earn, Employee, Estimate, Expense, Goods, Income, Market research, Money management, Profit, Role model, Save, Self-employed, Service, Share, Spend, Withdrawal, Work ethic.
- Skills – Active listening, Analysis, Applying information, Brainstorming, Chart data, Compare and contrast, Computation, Critical thinking, Deductive reasoning, Decision-making, Drawing, Evaluating data, Follow written and verbal instructions, Group work, Mind-mapping, Problem-solving, Recording deposits and withdrawals, Role-playing, Self-assessment, Taking turns, Teamwork, Vocabulary building.
JA BizTown® - Mobile provides a simulated community where students assume the roles of workers and consumers. The program combines the curriculum which is composed of four comprehensive units and in-school, teacher-led activities with the program simulation. The town is transported and setup at the customers location transforming a variety of venues into JA BizTown. Instead of the students coming to us, we take JA BizTown Mobile to them. Recommended for fifth grade.
- Concepts – Banking, Business, Careers, Charitable giving, Citizenship, Competition, Conservation, Consumers, Demand, Division of labor, Employment, Exchange, Goods, Marketing, Markets, Money, Needs, Opportunity costs, Producers, Production, Quality, Resources, Saving, Scarcity, Services, Skills, Specialization, Supply, Wants.
- Skills – Analysis, Applying information, Budgeting, Cause and effect, Critical thinking, Computation, Data collection, Decision-making, Following directions, Graphing, Interpersonal communication, Listening, Negotiation, Observation, Planning, Predicting outcomes, Problem-solving, Reading, Research, Role-playing, Setting goals, Spending, Taking responsibility, Teamwork.
All JA programs are designed to support the skills and competencies identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. These programs also augment school-based, work-based, and connecting activities for communities with school-to-work initiatives.
For additional information on this and all Junior Achievement programs, please visit www.ja.org.