The words “business” and “kids” aren’t often found in the same sentence, let alone in the same middle school class description. But here’s an approach for business ed and kids that doesn’t just make sense, it ignites students’ passions and promotes important skill building—well beyond standard business skills.
Research shows that younger kids and teens absorb information more easily than adults. From their sensory capabilities to their absence of fear and self-judgement, middle schoolers can easily grasp complex concepts taught in music classes, language classes, and business classes. This, coupled with their energy and passion for what they love, can be a fun (and challenging) opportunity for educators.
How best to harness these attributes to drive learning? Experiential, learner-driven programs can lead to deeper learning and student engagement—virtually or in class! Entrepreneurship education is a platform to ignite student interest and build critical, real-world skills at the same time.
Business Plan Lesson Plans for Middle School
Historically, entrepreneurship education existed at the high school and college levels, as standalone courses or pathways embedded into CTE. But what would happen if we engaged students in entrepreneurship and business concepts sooner?
The middle grades have become a more common starting point for career exposure and CTE programs, as this stage represents a critical time for students making important decisions about high school that may have a lasting impact.
How to Bring Entrepreneurship to Your Students
Bringing entrepreneurship to your classroom (or Zoom call!) might be easier than you think. Well-informed lesson plans for entrepreneurship education should engage and empower students and expose young minds to business concepts. These lessons require an entrepreneurial mindset— for both student and teacher!
This curriculum should not only guide instruction for teaching the basics of building a startup, but also provide the instructional guidance students need to actually create a business—all by using all the tools, methodologies, and mindsets of entrepreneurs! Not sure how to get started? Not to worry—we’ve got you covered!
Beyond a Lesson Plan
“To be honest, we love our entrepreneurship programs just as much as our students,” says mxINCedu teacher, Jessica Babb. mxINCedu is Uncharted Learning’s middle school-level entrepreneurship program, designed to give students a jump start on identifying their passions, while providing an introduction to high school, college, and CTE paths. The program empowers middle schoolers with the tools and mindset needed to explore what it takes to be an entrepreneur, which in turn helps shape their futures, regardless of path.
As with all Uncharted Learning programs, mxINCedu teaches students how to learn from failure, which is still a pretty new concept to most educators, parents, and kids!
“As educators, we have to learn to be OK with not knowing all the answers. And our students have to be OK learning in a different way,” says Babb. “Traditionally, I am very regimented. I am very scheduled. That was something I had to unlearn with entrepreneurship. It’s not prescriptive, so you have to be flexible.”
Identify & Solve a Problem — and More
Teaching flexibility to middle schoolers might sound challenging at first, but with the right curriculum, resources and support from local mentors and coaches behind you, educators everywhere can start helping their students identify a problem to solve, create a concept, pitch the idea, and iterate over and over again to bring their ideas to life.
In mxINCedu, students do just that. “What I love about the mxINCedu program is that it’s not focused on students just getting good grades for high school,” says Babb. “This is experiential learning and skill-building that will benefit them in high school and beyond.”
Through Uncharted Learning’s comprehensive curriculum and resources, teachers can guide middle schoolers toward discovering areas of interest that carry into high school, college, and beyond. Don’t forget: These students are learning the skills needed to succeed in careers that don’t yet exist.
Wherever They're Headed, Entrepreneurship Can Help
In the past year, more than ever, we’ve learned that adaptability is key. None of us can predict the future, but we can prepare today’s students for the uncertain road ahead of them by teaching them fundamental entrepreneurship skills. With a program that works in-person, online—wherever you end up—you can rest assured that today’s middle school students will be prepared to create a greater future. It’s time to put “business” and “kids” together.