The 5 Best Middle School Business Education Lesson Plans
There’s no better time in a child’s life to learn about business than middle school.
Business education lesson plans are a key part of introducing students to real-world concepts that they may have missed otherwise.
Ideas like professionalism, job-seeking skills, and even timeliness may never have crossed your students’ radar before. But if they’re going to succeed in a real-world career, then your students have to know about them!
So how do you introduce your students to the valuable business education skills that they need?
The answer lies in the five best places to find business education lesson plans!
1. How to Write Email (Laura Randazzo)
Laura Randazzo is a prolific publisher on Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT), the go-to website for selling and sharing lesson plans.
She has a lot of business-related lesson plans in her profile, but there’s one in particular that other lesson planners tend to overlook.
How to write business emails.
Because modern Americans are surrounded by email every day, it’s easy to take it for granted that we just know how to write emails.
But there’s a certain artform to writing business correspondence well.
It has to be polite. It has to be concise. Most importantly, it has to be relevant.
Randazzo covers all of this (and then some) in a quick 45 minutes. Her lesson involves a Prezi lecture, sample email evaluation, email-writing practice, and a PDF guide.
All in all, this is a great lesson to complement an established middle school business curriculum. It adds extra color and useful information to your syllabus without derailing one unit or another.
Even if students don’t end up pursuing careers that require the use of email, they’ll almost certainly have their own email accounts at some point in their lives.
Professional email writing is a valuable skill no matter who learns it. Once your middle school students know how to write good emails, a lot of additional skills – like applying to jobs or submitting a resume – will come much more easily.
But email is just the start. What if you want to teach students something a little more complex?
2. Business Plan Activity (Gavin Middleton)
Gavin Middleton is another common name on TpT. Middleton’s lessons relate to business education pretty often, and one in particular stands out among the rest.
Middleton’s business plan activity is intense, to say the least. He’s actually created a 30-some page business plan that students use as examples to guide them through each section of their own business plan.
This lesson is a great way to have students learn by example while adding their own fun spin to an idea.
For middle school students, some of the items in this lesson may be a little too tall of an order to complete. Some of them may not have the slightest idea what costs they’ll have if their dream is to start a video game studio, for example.
Other areas of the business plan – like the executive summary and target market – are easier to understand.
This lesson does more than just show students how to create a business, as well. It shows them how businesses start, what its founders needed to consider, and the most common difficulties, among other lessons.
So while some parts of Middleton’s lesson may be over a few students’ heads, the primary content is still excellent material for middle school students to know.
Fortunately, there’s a simpler version available from another great lesson plan publisher.
3. Crash Course on Starting a Business (Biz Kids)
Biz Kids is an organization dedicated to teaching younger students about business in general.
As a result, one of their most popular lessons is a “crash course” on how to start a business.
The concepts in this lesson are similar to the ones in Middleton’s, but the content is better oriented toward a middle school student’s understanding.
Also, this lesson is available in Spanish, which sets it apart from many others in terms of appealing to a diverse range of students.
This lesson breaks a business plan into four easy parts – marketing, profit, funding, and plan.
In each stage, students perform different tasks to learn more about it.
They can partially learn about that through videos that are shot and published by Biz Kids. While these cost extra, they’re well worth the investment in terms of creating an engaging, entertaining, and helpful learning aid for students.
Altogether, the recommended videos take about 45 minutes and the lesson’s activities take about 60. That makes this lesson great for a week or so of classes, depending on how your school’s schedule works.
But what if you want something that digs deep into a broad range of topics? How do you turn business education into a month- or quarter-long journey for your students?
4. Business Education Lesson Plans & Projects (Tonya Skinner)
Tonya Skinner is a business education aficionado with a host of lesson plans and classroom resources all in one place.
On her website, Skinner goes beyond the basics of business education (like starting a company) and jumps into more nuanced, detailed qualities.
That includes business law, business technology, international business, and more.
Each topic contains a laundry list of resources that any business teacher can use to introduce and reinforce a variety of business concepts.
That also makes Skinner’s resources a great way to supplement an existing curriculum with interesting, specific topics.
So if you’re talking about the lifespan of a business, you can start with students making their own lesson plan.
Then, you can talk about how companies grow, even internationally.
You can wrap all of that up with a discussion of how smaller companies and bigger companies are different in just about every way, from how they operate to the laws that apply to them.
With Skinner’s resources on your side, you can do all of this, and your students will learn more for it!
Still, Skinner is just one teacher. Up to this point, we’ve only looked at individual teachers and smaller organizations that publish business education resources.
So what do you do if you want business education lesson plans from a well-known and established company?
5. JA BizTown (Junior Achievement)
JA BizTown is a highly-refined program that teaches students about business principles by making them the mayor of a fictional town.
This program is best suited for early middle school, starting in sixth grade, but it helps students learn a variety of concepts.
Not only does it cover standard business education, but BizTown covers soft skills, 21st Century skills, and a whole lot more.
The program has a total of 14 resources. Each contains its own unique lessons that follow a certain theme.
For example, the theme of unit #1 is “financial services.”
Each of these resources roughly corresponds to what you’d consider a classroom lesson.
With 14 lessons at your fingertips, you can fill a lot of class time with valuable, helpful information.
Supplemental resources include engaging online materials like video. But even without video accompaniment, you can do a lot (and teach a lot) just by using JA BizTown.
But if you want to give your middle schoolers the best business education experience possible, there’s really only one option out there for you.
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