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Elementary students learn about trade with special fair

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education New Richmond, 54017

New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

As fifth-grader Emily Bennig stood at her desk, a friend offered to trade her sweets for a ribbon halo. Normally, Bennig would say no, but this was a friend.

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As Bennig made the trade, Hailie Schultz looked at her and said, "Emily! No! You can say no!"

Bennig's trade was just one of many made at Hillside Elementary last week during the fifth grade trade fair.

The social studies students have been learning about exploration and colonization in class and were asked to bring homemade goods and wares to trade.

The trade fair was designed as a hands-on experience to teach them how early European and Native people used to trade.

Students brought homemade stress balls, baked goods, friendship bracelets and hand drawn items.

Teachers traded coupons such as Smart Board games during recess, a game of quiet ball and a chance to sit at the teacher's desk for one period.

"It's great," said Dan Bower, fifth grade teacher. "It really teaches them about trading and bartering."

The students spent two days trading their treasures and discussing why some items were more popular than others.

Emily Bennig's booth, which featured ribbon halos and wands, was one of the more popular booths. Even when she left the booth to travel to others, she was bombarded with offers.

However, not all trading goes smoothly. One girl was visibly upset when one deal failed.

"You have to figure out what they want and try to trade for it," teacher Lynean Cronick told her.

Many students soon learned that often one item wasn't good enough to trade for the most sought after items.

When one boy refused a deal, the other asked, "Well, what else do you want for it?"

The answer? Oreo balls. The boy then set off to find some to complete his deal.

One fifth-grader traded her homemade item for some puppy-chow then turned around and traded it again for a friendship bracelet.

Another fifth-grader decided he'd rather eat the goods he traded for and soon ran out of things to trade.

It took about 45 minutes for the chaos to die down, but when it was over, many students had an eclectic display of items on their desks and smiles on their faces.

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