At Y.A.L.E. School’s Mansfield Township campus, middle school students get the chance to design a hypothetical business, and in so doing, reach across the curriculum as they tie their ideas together.
This year, student entrepreneurs are making plans for the Yo-Yogurt Shop, American Body Guards and Gymster Fitness.
From there, teachers make the academic linkages: students use computers and problem-solving skills to research, price and choose rental space. Language arts and advocacy skills are reinforced as students write a letter to the town council proposing their business and describing its merits to the community. Math skills, research skills and computer skills are leveraged as students research supply expenses and design and use a spread sheet outlining their start up costs. Art and visual design skills are tapped as students design a bold and creative logo to draw customers to their business. And finally, students build social skills as they consider how to recruit the best possible employees, and use perspective-taking skills as they write an appealing and accurate “help-wanted” ad. And as the lesson culminates, each student has a chance to share their ideas through a poster and an oral presentation in front of classmates.