Market Day PBL

Social Studies
Blog heading for Market Day post. Pictures of bookmark and paper airplane store.

At my school each grade level completes two PBLs (project based learning) a year. In the fall, first grade did a PBL on light and sound which covered some of our science standards. This spring we did a PBL on goods and services covering social studies standards and more. For our final presentation of learning, students put on a Market Day and sold their own goods and services. Keep reading to see how we set this up…

Driving Question

Every PBL starts with a driving question. The driving question is the problem or question you’re trying to solve throughout this project. The end goal is to have an answer to this question. Our Driving Question for our Market Day PBL was – How can we buy and sell a good or service that we have created to our school community? Our goal with this was for kids to create their own business (selling goods or services) and run their business during our Market Day.


Before introducing the driving question and the project, we studied the background information that the kids would need to know to be able to complete this project.

For this project students would need to understand:

  • Wants and needs
  • Consumers and producers
  • Goods and services
  • Spending and saving

To learn about these standards we used a variety of resources including:

PBL Launch

After completing our research it was time to launch our PBL. One of the parents in my class happens to be a franchise business owner of cookie companies and Subway. He was kind enough to come in and talk with the students about what it takes to be a business owner and go over what an owner does day-to-day. He even brought cookies! The kids loved this and would often refer back to things the dad had said during our project.

Business Plan

Next students came up with a business plan. We brainstormed ideas together of different goods and services they could sell.

Here are a few ideas:

  • bracelets
  • dice
  • paper airplanes
  • bookmarks
  • gymnastics lesson
  • foreign language lessons
  • math tutoring
  • dance lessons
  • soccer lessons
  • slime
  • Origami
  • pictures
  • books

After brainstorming students picked either a good or service that they would be selling. Students were allowed to choose to work with a group or work on their own (I love the choice component of PBL). They then filled out their business packet detailing what they would be selling, items needed, business name, and cost of their item.


Next it was time to create their items that they would be selling or practice their service. This was a chaotic activity, but overall went well (organized chaos if you will). I highly recommend setting aside a huge block of time to do this. This way they only make the mess one time. It’s important too to have this day scheduled in advance. Students needed to bring in items from home so having it scheduled helped for planning purposes.

Picture of classroom while Market Day creations are going on.


The ads were so fun to do! First, students created a sign for their store. Then, they created a paper advertisement. Before creating, we looked at multiple advertisements from familiar businesses and talked about things we would want to include in our ads. We also create commercials on the iPads. Again we researched by watching familiar commercials and discussed things that we noticed in them. Then students created a story board outlining their commercial, practiced, and filmed!

Picture of signs for businesses.

Market Day Presentation

Last but not least it was time for our presentation. Students set up their stores with their sign, item, and iPad to watch the commercial. Students were able to shop in each others classrooms for items and parents were also invited at a specific time to shop. The kids did an amazing job setting up their stores and selling their items.

Picture of magic tricks store
Picture of bracelet store

Market Day PBL Reflection

Overall this PBL went extremely well and I would definitely do it again. The kids really grasped the business concept and had so much fun creating their own businesses with their friends. I think we might even have some future business owners on our hands!

Pin image for Market Day Blog Post
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