Intro to Entrepreneurism

This is a scaled down version of a “Shark Tank” learning cycle I do.  It gives you the outline without getting into the specifics. Having done this several times with students, there are a lot of different ways it could go, depending on your timelines. I will often drift into politics, capitalism vs. socialism – which leads into conversations about current events (increase in minimum wage, housing boom, wants vs. needs).

Intro Project

Key Terms

  • Discuss the difference between “Goods” & “Services”
  • Discuss “Supply & Demand”
  • revenue (gross) vs profit (net),


  • With the goal of selling something in the student’s home school, think of a good or service that they could sell for an upcoming event (e.g, Christmas, valentine’s day, graduation).
  • List as many ideas as you can. Split them into goods and services
    • Some samples of what my students have come up with E.g., hot chocolate, open gym, candy canes, valentine’s, school merchandise, movie in library, Stationary Supply in each homeroom available for purchase from teacher. Proceeds go to school.

Warm up activity:

Do this Google Doodle activity. I usually just do the phone as a warm-up activity. What are the problems with current phones (breakable, battery charging, privacy, expensive, disposable, easy to lose) and then design a new phone that fixes the current issues.

google doodle

Next, as a group, brainstorm the problems with grocery shopping. Then show them the video about Amazon Go and how they solved the problem of the long check-out lines. See if they come up with any more ideas to revolutionize shopping.

Finally, watch the video How to be an Entrepreneur by the School of Life and/or “How to Start a Business“.


When you start a business, you need to look at the market in which you are entering. Your task for this element is to analyze your industry (school demographics).

  • Can use SCAMPERto discuss what has been done before, whats worked or hasn’t worked and then tweak to fit the desired event.
  • Supply & Demand: This depends on many factors
    • Demand considerations: E.g., Age, Sex, Local. others?
      • Local (Time and space):  TIME: E.g,. In winter, what types of events would be in higher demand (e.g., indoor events, hot chocolate).  SPACE/Location: what is in scarcer supply in school? Junk food? Computers? Free time?  
      • Sex/Gender: Raffle tickets for a video game might be in higher demand for boys.
      • Age: E.g., Fidget toys might be more popular with kids than teachers.
      • Other?

Project Profitability

How much will each individual item cost? What will you sell it for? How many will you sell? What is your projected revenue? Profit? Costs? 


item cost price profit per item sales Profit Overhead Costs Revenue
Bath bomb $2.75 $5.00 $2.25 200 $450.00 $550.00 $1,000.00
candy canes $0.10 $0.25 $0.15 1000 $150.00 $100.00 $250.00
hot chocolate $0.25 $1.00 $0.75 500 $375.00
pencil $1.00 $2.00 $1.00 25 $25.00 $68.75 $50.00
eraser $1.00 $1.50 $0.50 100 $50.00 $275.00 $150.00

What might your Shark ask?

If the Principal is your “Shark” invite them in to discuss all of their considerations: safety, chaos, mess, teacher time, hall congestion, health, permission forms, etc…The principal will likely ask where the money will be going to (field trips, technology, etc..)

Create a Business Plan  

Now that you know what you’re selling, a successful business needs a plan to follow. Develop a business plan that outlines what your business will do, your staffing needs (labor), your sales and marketing approach and how much start-up financing you will need (how much $$ to start everything). Once you have your business plan, you can follow it to create your successful business and use your business plan to interest investors in your company (aka the “Sharks”)

Questions to answer

  1. Company name
  2. Product name
  3. Product: Are you providing goods or a services?
  4. Who is your target audience (don’t say everybody!)
  5. What words would you associate with your brand?
  6. What would you pay for your product?
  7. Where/how would you sell your product?
  8. What would be some of your expenses as a business (what do you need to buy before you can sell? Would you need a loan from the school?)
  9. Who would you need to hire (set up crew, clean up crew, money counters, teacher supervisor)?

In this case, keep your Principal in mind. What would they consider most important (safety, staffing, lack of chaos, not disrupting the school day, etc…)


How will you get people to know your business exists, how will you market your product/service and advertise it to your target audience?  This could be part of your business plan but if it is not you MUST include some marketing and advertising strategies in this project.

  • Signs, announcements, school Twitter or Facebook pages, school website?
  • How will you make your product seem attractive? Research successful sales techniques and try to implement them (catch phrase, make it seem cool, limited time only, bargain, etc…)

Your Business Proposal  (the Pitch)  

You and your group will be creating a business proposal.  In this proposal you will include all of the elements listed above.  Research what makes a successful business proposal (body language, key phrases, being prepared, enthusiasm, etc…). Be creative & good luck!

Co-create rubric with class

Here’s one idea to get you started:

shark tank rubric

Resources (some places to start)


Mensa for Kids – I need a Super Hero Unit

I Need a Superhero

Download the PDF version of this lesson plan.


Hereos pin

The idea of the hero is something that even very small children understand at some level. Many perennially favorite picture books feature heroic characters (such as Max in Where the Wild Things Are — a retelling of Homer’s Odyssey). As children grow, their exposure to different manifestations of the hero broadens. They encounter heroes in television, movies, books, magazines and music, and on the pages of their local newspapers.

The heroic archetype features prominently in literary analysis at the high school level. A clear understanding of, and the ability to manipulate and apply, this idea is critical to any approach to world literature for the high school student. Unlike most of the Mensa Foundation’s lesson plans, this one includes the reading of a long novel as its culminating assignment.

This lesson plan was designed to tie into the Mensa Hero Bracket Challenge that began in the October 2010 issue of the Mensa Bulletin, with the results announced in the March 2011 issue. It is not necessary to read the article, however, for students to benefit from the lesson plan. If you are a member of Mensa, you (or your students) may read about the Hero Bracket Challenge in the October 2010 issue.

Guiding Questions

  • What makes a hero?
  • Where do we find heroes?
  • How are heroes in books different from heroes in real life?
  • What is the journey of the hero and how does the archetype manifest itself?

Learning Objectives
After completing the lessons in this unit, students will be able to:

  • Explain what makes a hero and the elements of the heroic journey.
  • Recognize heroic figures in multiple media.
  • Analyze a literary work for the heroic archetype.
  • Analyze a piece of literature for elements of the hero and the heroic journey.
  • Write an essay comparing and contrasting heroes in two works.


  • Ensure Internet access to look up relevant sites.
  • Get a copy of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.
  • Print out copies of this plan as needed.

Growing use of contract faculty in Ontario traps many in precarious work, threatens quality of higher education

As an Occasional Teacher, this is an issue I can relate to. It’s hard enough trying to get a contract as a full-time teacher, but imagine having to compete with lower quality and cheaper “teachers” for these few jobs? How many of us could afford to be OTs forever?

“Improving the working conditions of contract faculty is about improving the learning experience for students across the province,” said Lawson. “It’s also about social justice and fairness for every academic employee.” 

Please read:

The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) launched a campaign this morning to address the issue of increased reliance on contract faculty in Ontario’s universities. This was done in solidarity with the American contract faculty walkout.

As you likely know, this isn’t an issue that’s only occurring south of the border. The CBC estimates that over half of Canadian university courses are taught by contract faculty. These professors don’t have access to the same job security, pay and benefits as their tenured colleagues despite doing the same work. The quality of Ontario’s postsecondary education system is threatened by the poor working conditions of contract faculty.

You can find the campaign here:

And here’s the full press release:

Stop Motion App for creating videos

NFB StopMo Studio: A new Challenge for Creativity


This is a guest post written by educator Paul Carrière, plastic arts teacher, elementary level, FACE School, CSDM. All photographs were taken by grade 3 students in Paul’s class with an iPad.

Like its predecessor PixStop, the NFB’s new app for iPad, NFB StopMo Studio, is a great, inexpensive tool that makes it easy to produce frame-by-frame animated films. StopMo Studio offers a wide range of features and very gently hints that we, teachers may need to go back to the drawing board. It has been my experience that an app of the calibre ofStopMo Studio can get students’ creative juices flowing and even inspire teachers to review their teaching strategies. Students who are used to lecture-style explanations on a video projector or the blackboard are more receptive and engaged when I teach them using an iPad.

Check out the article for more information. We are creating Public Service Announcements right now and producing videos and some students are using this app!



Film Study: Symbolism

Symbolism: Something used for representing something else. Symbols work like images that have meaning added to them. Colours can represent a moods. A rose is just a flower, until it is one of a bunch given as a present. Then it signifies love – passionate if the rose is red, chaste if it is white.


  • Evil: Fire, black, crow, storm
  • Death or endings: Gravestones, cemeteries, grim reaper, day of the dead, skulls, candle blowing out, coffins, ringing of the bell, cross bones
  • Love:  cupid, harp, heart, rose, red

Film Study: Foreshadowing

Foreshadowing is a literary device in which an author hints certain plot developments that perhaps will come to be later in the story.  It can be very broad and easily understood, or it may be complex use of symbols that are then connected to later turns in the plot.

Foreshadowing often appears at the beginning of a story and contains clues about what is to come:

  • Keep an eye out for signs of potential conflict between characters.
  • Look for signals that things might not be what the initially seem.
  • Pay close attention to any details that seem unusual or have particular emotional significance.

A hint that is designed to mislead the audience is referred to as a red herring. This is particularly the case with mystery writers, who want to bury clues to a mystery in information that is partially true and partially false.