An Economics and Literature Lesson, Grades 1-3

The Goat in the Rug

as told to Charles L. Blood and Martin Link
Parents' Magazine Press/New York 1976
Lesson by Mary Suiter

Copyright 1993. From Economics and Children's Literature, a manual of 45 lesson plans from SPEC Publishers, Inc,; 1006 Regency Manor Dr.; Ballwin, MO 63011, (314) 891-0043. ($20.00) Permission to use provided by SPEC Publishers, Inc. St. Louis, Missouri.

Producers, resources (natural, human, capital), intermediate goods.

Language Arts:
Categorizing, sequencing, noting details, writing personal narrative.

Geraldine, a goat, tells the story of a Navajo weaver who produces a rug using the goat's mohair.

For each student--four index cards, sheet of construction paper, crayons, scissors, glue, Rug Resources worksheet (described below), writing supplies.

  1. Explain that you will read the story, The Goat In The Rug, which is about a Navajo weaver, Glenmae. Show the book cover and explain the story was "told to" Charles L. Blood and Martin Link by Geraldine. Tell students to listen for ways they know the story is told by Geraldine.

  2. After reading the story, discuss:

    a. Who is Geraldine? (the goat)
    b. How can we tell the story is told by Geraldine?
    (The story opens with, "My name is Geraldine and I live near a place called Window Rock with my Navajo friend, Glenmae.") Because Geraldine is telling the story, she uses "my," "I," and "me." This type of story is called a personal narrative.
    c. Who is Glenmae? (Geraldine's Navajo friend).

  3. Explain that Glenmae was a producer of rugs. Producers make goods or provide services. They use many things to make their products. Some of these things are called resources and some are called intermediate goods. Name some things Glenmae used to produce her rug. (mohair from the goat, scissors, yucca plants, buckets, water, comb cards, spindle, large pots, loom, dye) As students answer, list the things on the board.

  4. Explain resources can be placed into three groups: natural, human, and capital resources.

  5. Natural Resources are those things found in and on the earth, such as water, oil, and sunlight.

  6. Human resources are people who work, like Glenmae, teachers, doctors, truck drivers, and sales clerks.

  7. Capital resources are tools, equipment, and buildings we use to help produce things. Capital resources are used over and over without being used up, such as trucks, computers, cash registers, desks, and chairs.

  8. Explain the other things used to produce goods are called intermediate goods. Intermediate goods are products that are combined with resources to make another products. They become part of the finished product. They are not used over and over again as are capital resources. The flour in muffins and the nails in a chair are examples of intermediate goods.

  9. Distribute four index cards to each child. Tell students to write a different letter on each card: "C" for capital resource, "N" for natural resource, ""H" for human resource, and "I" for intermediate good.

  10. Explain when you point to one of the items listed on the board, students should hold up the correct card to indicate whether it is a natural, human, or capital resource or an intermediate good. As students answer, write the correct letter on the board next to the item listed.

  11. Explain Glenmae's rug was special or different from other rugs because it has a special design. Many people who weave rugs use special symbols and designs to tell a story. Students will produce a rug that tells the story of rug production.

  12. Distribute construction paper, scissors, crayons, and copy of Rug Resources worksheet (described below) to each student. Explain the construction paper represents the rug. Instruct students to color the rug resources, cut on the dotted lines, arrange the rug to tell the story of rug production, and glue.

  13. When rugs are completed, display on a "Rug Production" wall or bulletin board.

  14. Instruct students to write a personal narrative about something they produce at home. (examples: make a sandwich, clean room, set table, do homework) Remind them this will be a personal narrative because they are telling the story. Students should remember to mention different types of resources and intermediate goods used.

Rug Resources

The rug resources are pictures of the following, in rectangles, in a 3x3 grid, on a single piece of paper:

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