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Markets and Basic Economics #2: The Have a Good Day Cafe, by Frances and Ginger Park

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Lesson Overview:

This is a simple and easy lesson that uses a picture book to make sure that the students understand the concepts of product variety, sales, competition, and advertising.  There is also a multicultural Korean theme that may help some of your EAL kids feel at home as they share some of their country’s language and food culture.  As simple as the ideas are, I have found that children have a hard time identifying the business themes in this story.  So, take your time, work slowly, and make sure that your students understand some of the basics, including competition and competitive advantage, before moving too much further into the unit.

Lesson Plan:

Suggested Grades:



To respond to The Have a Good Day Cafe by answering simple questions on basic business concepts.  Also, to connect the story to what students observe in their own communities and shops.   (AASL 2.3.1, “Connect understanding to the real world.”)

Suggested Time:

40-45 minutes

Success Criteria:

Each child will respond to the story by providing short answers to a few key questions.  If there is not enough time for students to write responses, simply discuss the questions together.

Lesson Outline:

1. Introduction:

Ask students what is sold at a shoe shop, a bakery, or a hardware store.  Make sure that the kids understand that shoes, bread, and hammers are examples of products that might be on sale in those shops.  (Key Concept:  Form – what is a product?)

Ask the students whether there is one shoe shop or many shoe shops in their town.  One bakery or several bakeries?  One hardware store or several?  If several shops are trying to get the same customers and are selling the same products, we say that these businesses compete with one another.  (Key Concept:  Function – how do businesses operate?)

Explain that today’s story is about a family business.  Ask the students to listen to the story and try to figure out:

  1. What products the family sells.
  2. Whether the family business has any competition.
  3. How the family responds to the downturn in business.
  4. What other factors might help the family improve their business.
  5. The role each character plays in the family business.

2. Main:

Share The Have a Good Day Cafe by Frances and Ginger Park, illustrated by Katherine Potter.   The story is not a quick read, so plan at least 15 minutes.  If you have any Korean speaking students in class, ask them to help you with the pronunciation of the foods.  Check for understanding as you go.

After teaching and talking through the story, work through the student assignment together.  Make sure that each student has provided a response with a complete sentence to show his understanding of the text.

If your students have had any experience with the concept of immigration, weave this into your teaching.  My students do a unit on human migration in Grade 3, so I always try to connect back to those main ideas.

3. Conclusion:

Wrap up by asking whether anyone in the class helps in a family business.   Ask whether anyone’s grown-ups have a family business and, if so, what products and services they provide. If you have time, make a quick class chart of family businesses or family businesses known in the community.  This will extend the lesson further and make more real-world connections.

  1. The Have a Good Day Cafe by Frances and Ginger Park, illustrated by Katherine Potter
  2. Student Handout (attached)

Use your Titlewave account to download free lesson plan materials based on The Have a Good Day Cafe.  This lesson takes a business/economics approach to the text, but you can also use the text for lessons on immigrants/immigration as well as food/culinary arts.  The free lesson materials are excellent, so if you want to focus on this text or do more with it, don’t miss the online lesson materials.

I have never been able to pull this off, but I have always wanted to have some Korean food for the kids to try after listening to this story.  Bulgogi is especially delicious and my personal favorite, but I have yet to arrange for Korean food in class.  If you have a local Korean community or parent, the lesson would be much more enjoyable!  A Korean grandma would be even better!

Recommended books for this lesson: 

The Have a Good Day Cafe by Frances and Ginger Park, illustrated by Katherine Potter

Key Terms:

Buyers, Sellers, Competition, Products, Grandmothers, Korean Americans, Street Vendors, Korean Cooking

Student Handout, The Have a Good Day Cafe