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The auction is an important component of the classroom economy. It lets the students reward themselves for working diligently to earn money. From a learning perspective, it links directly to the concept of supply and demand, and students quickly discover how impulse buying can shrink a bank account. In addition, children look forward to the auction because it is fun.
We recommend conducting auctions because they can be done quickly yet are extremely effective in teaching financial responsibility. However, you may prefer to use a school store as an alternative. You can open the store daily or weekly, allowing students to purchase as many items as they can afford.
Make sure each student will have an auction paddle or another way to bid. If you wish, you can use our auction paddle template to create your own paddles or to have the students make their own.
Prepare to show the Auction video to the class.
Have the students watch the Auction video.
Explain that they can only spend the amount of money they have in their bank accounts, and that they're not required to purchase anything. This is a good time to reinforce the importance of saving, and to remind the students that they have the ability to buy the deed to their desks and thus escape rent payments forever.
It's also important to emphasize that an auction bid is a binding contract, and there's no going back on it, even if they later wish that they hadn't spent the money.
If necessary, explain the auction procedures before beginning the auction.
Before the auction starts, allow students to quickly confirm their ledger balances with the Bankers so everyone knows what he or she can spend.
After the auction, each winning bidder needs to withdraw cash from the bank to pay for items bought. Do not give an item to the student until you receive the cash.
At this point some students may decide they bid too much and no longer want the item they won. It is very important that you require them to purchase it anyway. The auction is a vital tool in teaching the lesson of buyer's remorse.
To make the payment, each student should:
After an auction, some students will feel overwhelmed because they got caught up in the action and spent most or all of their money. This can be a tremendous learning opportunity.
You could use some of the following questions to guide a discussion: