The Sufficiency Economy

The Sufficiency Economy was designed by King Rama IX. In order to understand Thailand’s economy, our Grade 3 & 4 students created small businesses in teams of three. We began by discussing the differences between needs and wants.

Then students researched various goods and services and discussed the meaning of producers and consumers. Students looked around their community to evaluate what needs or wants their business could fulfill.

If you ask the business owners of the Dprep Bakery, they will tell you “There was no bakery at school and the kids want to eat cakes.”

Every learning experience connected to different parts of our Unit of Inquiry. Our class interviewed two guest speakers.

Before meeting with the guest speakers our students learned how to write a question using question words and a question mark. In Noopim’s words, “First we learned about question words.

We used it to write questions. Then we learned about reading, writing and research.” By research she is referring to how students practiced reading books to find answers to their questions.

We discussed how sometimes we will not find all of the answers we want in one book, and we need to read more books or find an expert who can help us.

Students prepared questions for each guest speakers and practiced interview skills. The first guest speaker was Mr. Tor. He taught us about King Rama IX and his Artificial Rain Project.

“The King made the rain because Thailand is so hot and the farmers needed money and water for their crops,” according to Naki. Mr. Tor’s presentation gave students a look at how the government plans services for the community.

The second guest speaker taught us about planning a business with the example of the Tuna factory. Mr. Golf showed our class step by step how to plan a successful business.

Athit shared with me what he learned during that lesson, “I learned about that profit is when you make money and loss is when you don’t make money.” At the end of the presentation, students were able to ask each guest speaker a question.

Students took notes in their notebooks, and then wrote informational paragraphs to summarize their learning.

Next, we practiced looking for evidence of goods and services already happening at school. Students were able to use their newly learned vocabulary by finding producers in our canteen and consumers in themselves.

After our hunt for evidence at school, we joined Ms. Noi at the Ayutthaya farm. The farm connected all our learning!

At the farm we observed goods and services, needs and wants, producers and consumers, the sufficiency economy, as well as various contributions from the King.

As one student, Dragon, stated, “We learned that King Rama IX gave us fish from Africa.” The farm in Ayutthaya helped bring together all of our learning.

“Guest speakers and fieldwork experiences provide students with the opportunity to connect their learning with the real world.”
– Ms. Alexandra Blanchard, Grades ¾ PYP Homeroom Teacher & Director of English Learning

Of course, the highlight of our unit of inquiry was creating our own small businesses. Students were truly excited to have the opportunity of creating their own businesses.

As a team they created the various parts of a business plan, while having to agree and compromise on each decision. Students created logos, slogans, commercial scripts, and even elevator pitches!

The goal of this project was for students to get a real-life experience of goods and services. We had the opportunity to discuss and observe how the community works together to make sure everyone has what they need to survive.

Our various learning experiences will not only prepare students for their academic futures but also prepares them for becoming the future citizens and leaders of our world.

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