Junior Achievement’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed. The inspiration piece comes from community volunteers who not only deliver our lessons, but share their experience. In the process, these volunteers serve as role models helping to positively impact young people’s perceptions about the importance of education, as well as critical life skills. Preparation involves our proven lessons that promote financial capability, work and career readiness, and business ownership.
Following is an overview of the program by grade level. For more detailed information about the curriculum, see the Junior Achievement website.
Kindergarten — Ourselves®
Ourselves® uses compelling stories read aloud by the volunteer, along with hands-on activities to demonstrate helping, working, earning, and saving.
- Concepts: Barter, Benefit, Buying, Choices, Consumer, Costs, Earning, Entrepreneurs, Giving, Goods, Incentives, Income, Money, Resources, Rewards, Saving, Scarcity, Selling, Spending, Voluntary exchange, Wants, Work
- Skills: Abstract thinking, Coin recognition, Decision-making, Drawing, Following directions, Interpreting information, Listening responsively, Matching, Responsibility, Sequencing, Teamwork
First Grade — Our Families®
Our Families® emphasizes the roles people play in the local economy and engages students with activities about needs, wants, jobs, tools and skills, and interdependence.
Concepts: Business, Choices, Consumers, Economic institutions, Employment, Family, Incentives, Income, Interdependence, Jobs, Needs, Resources, Scarcity, Skills, Tools, Voluntary exchange, Wants, Work
Skills: Analyzing information, Decision-making, Differentiating, Drawing, Following directions, Interpreting symbols, Listening responsively, Making observations, Map reading, Matching, Teamwork
Second Grade — Our Community®
Our Community® explores the interdependent roles of workers in a community, the work they perform, and how communities work.
- Concepts–Banking, Business, Choices, Circular flow of money, Community, Division of labor, Economic institutions, Goods, Government, Incentives, Interdependence, Jobs, Money, Productivity, Taxes
- Skills–Comparing, Critical thinking, Decision-making, Identifying choices, Listening responsively, Making observations, Matching, Problem-solving, Role-playing, Teamwork.
Third Grade — Our City®
Our City® studies careers, the skills people need to work in specific careers, and how businesses contribute to a city.
- Concepts–Banking, Business, Careers, City, Consumer, Economic institutions, Entrepreneur, Incentives, Income, Jobs, Money, Producers, Quality, Resources, Skills, Specialization, Zones
- Skills–Applying information, Conducting research, Decision-making, Filling out forms, Interpreting directions, Map reading, Math computations, News writing, Role-playing, Teamwork.
Fourth Grade — Our Region®
Our Region® introduces the relationship between the natural, human, and capital resources found in different regions and explores regional businesses that produce goods and services for consumers.
- Concepts–Business, Choices, Economy, Exchange, Expenses, Goods, Incentives, Income, Investment, Products, Profit, Region, Resources, Risk, Scarcity, Services, Specialization, Taxes.
- Skills–Comparing, Compiling data, Conducting research, Decision-making, Differentiating, Giving reports, Interpreting data, Math computations, Problem-solving, Reading, Teamwork, Understanding symbols.
Fifth Grade — Our Nation®
Our Nation® provides practical information about businesses’ need for individuals who can meet the demands of the job market, including high-growth, high-demand jobs. Further, it introduces the concept of globalization of business as it relates to production materials and the need for students to be entrepreneurial in their thinking to meet the requirements of high-growth, high-demand careers worldwide.
- Concepts–Advertising, Capital resources, Career preparation, Communication, Competition, Corporation, Demand, Employees, Employers, Engineering, Entrepreneur, Free enterprise, Global competition, Goods, High-growth, High-demand jobs, Human resources, Natural resources, Opportunity costs, Partnerships, Price, Products, Profit, Resources, Resume, Scarcity, Services, Skills, Sole proprietorship, Specialization, Stock, Stockholders, Supply, Technology, Technophile, Technophobe
- Skills–Addition and subtraction, Brainstorming, Conceptualizing and designing advertisements, Creative thinking, Critical thinking, Decision-making, Drawing conclusions, Estimating, Evaluation, Following directions, Graphing and graph interpretation, Listening, Map reading, Problem solving, Reading and writing, Reasoning, Role-playing, Teamwork, Verbal communication, Working in groups.
Sixth Grade – JA America Works®
JA America Works® provides students with examples of how business and entrepreneurship affected the economic development of the United States during the 19th century. Six required, volunteer-led sessions.
- Concepts–Benefit, Boomtown, Capital resources, Communication, Competition, Cost, Cost-benefit analysis, Demand, Emigration, Entrepreneurship, Human resources, Immigration, Industrialization, Innovation, Invention, Modes of transportation, Natural resources, Opportunity cost, Productive resources, Productivity, Pull factor, Push factor, Risk, Scarcity, Supply, Technology, Telegraphy
- Skills–Analyzing information, Critical thinking, Decision making, Decoding messages, Encoding messages, Gathering, interpreting, and organizing information, Math calculations, Oral and written communication, Planning, Reading and interpreting data, Working in groups
Seventh Grade – JA Economics for Success®
JA Economics for Success® explores personal finance and students’ education and career options based on their skills, interests, and values while demonstrating the economic benefits of staying in school. Six required, volunteer-led sessions.
- Concepts–Credit, Debt, Gross income, Insurance, Interest, Needs and wants, Net income, Opportunity cost, Risk, Self-knowledge, World of work
- Skills–Critical thinking, Decision making, Following directions, Interpreting data, Math calculations, Oral and written communication, Role-playing, Self-assessment, Working in groups
Eighth Grade – JA Global Marketplace®
JA Global Marketplace® provides practical information about the global economy and its effect on students’ lives. Six required, volunteer-led sessions.
- Concepts–Business practices, Culture, Currency, Domestic trade, Embargo, Emigrate, Entrepreneurship, Exchange rates, Exports, Franchise, Global trade, Human resources, Immigrate, International trade, Market, Productivity, Quota, Standard, Subsidy, Tariff, Technology, Trade, Trade barrier
- Skills–Analyzing points of view, Brainstorming, Critical reading, Critical thinking, Gathering and organizing information, Interpreting maps, charts and globes, Math calculations, Oral and written communication, Persuasion, compromise, and bargaining, Working in groups