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Innovation in a Bag

Lesson Plan

Innovation in a Bag

Grade Levels

10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade, 9th Grade

Course, Subject

Career Education and Work
  • Big Ideas
    Careful planning is fundamental to success.
    Each student will achieve and maintain a personally and professionally rewarding career journey in a diverse and changing world.
    Entrepreneurs tend to exemplify unique combinations of personal characteristics that tend to distinguish them from other people.
    Individuals and entities endeavor to obtain goods and services and to accumulate wealth.
  • Concepts
    Aspects of entrepreneurs including risk taking, responsibility for mistakes, taking credit and views on failure.
    Changes in education, incentives, technology, and capital investment alter productivity.
    Entrepreneurship in the broadest sense as including all innovative and creative endeavors, the reorganizing of an existing enterprise, the discovery of a new technology, or the development of a solution to a social or political problem.
    Importance of acquiring personal insight into one’s own abilities, strengths and weaknesses.
    Individuals can increase their employment odds through education, developing, and practicing new skills.
    The accumulation of resources, whether abundant or not, is wealth.
    The accumulation of resources, whether abundant or not, is wealth. Individuals, regional entities and nation-states produce wealth to satisfy human needs and wants.
    Why creating a business plan is an essential step for any prudent entrepreneur to take, regardless of the size of the project or business.
  • Competencies
    Assess factors that impact an individual and entities’ standards of living.
    Describe marketing functions and related activities.
    Develop team spirit.
    Enlist others in working toward a shared vision.
    Explain the concept of financial management.
    Explain the concept of human resource management.
    Explain the concept of management.
    Explain the nature and scope of operations management.
    Predict future earnings based on current plans for education, training, and career options.


The purpose of this lesson is to give students some experience in what it takes to start a competative business.


Problem Solve










Concept development








In this introductory lesson, students will consider and then practice what must be done to take an idea for a business to reality through:

  • Discovery-determine opportunities
  • Concept Development-access start-up requirements
  • Resourcing-acquire capital resources needed
  • Actualization-develop product or service


Lesson Essential Question(s)

  1. Where do Entrepreneurs get their ideas?
  2. How does an idea become reality?


2 block periods (80 min. each)

 3-4 traditional class periods



  1. Paper lunch bags stuffed with common materials: paper clips, paper, clothes pins, bottle caps, pom pom’s, glitter, etc. (any art & craft materials you can collect). Bags should hold similar quantities of supplies but not the same content.
  2. Scissors, tape, markers: classroom resources available to all groups.

Suggested Instructional Strategies

W   =

We are going to ask students to consider where entrepreneurs get their ideas. We will then post and discuss the essential questions and invite students to generate their own questions. These will be done so students will understand how innovation and creativity create opportunity and result in career satisfaction. Students will plan and create a product or service that will improve the quality of life in our classroom and/or school.

H   =

Open the lesson with a discussion about new products. Involve students with creative questioning. Use odd products or examples—something you have seen at Walmart (like the hair bump). Introduce the project as a challenge.

E   =

Show and tell: Show the students what resources they will have to work with and explain the task at hand.

R   =

After students have an idea for their project they will share their idea with group members. The group will decide on the best idea and work to improve on that idea.

E   =

A “ticket out” or use a teacher prepared checklist.

T   =

Student groups will differentiate tasks based on each member’s strengths and interests.

O   =

The teacher moves from teacher directed activities to a mode where student are doing their own work with minimal supervision.


Instructional Procedures


Begin class with a discussion about a new product that you have recently seen. Explain where you think the idea came from, what problem it attempts to solve, etc. If you have thought about an idea but never acted on it and then saw “your” idea in a store share that with your students too. Ask students to share similar observations and experiences.

Explain that Entrepreneurs are just like us—they see possibilities in little things every day, but unlike most of us, they act on their ideas. Tell them that today the class is going to practice thinking and acting like an entrepreneur.


Orientation Activity

Put students in small work groups. Tell them that they are each in an entrepreneurial “think tank”. Explain:

a.  Their task is to identify and produce a product or service that will enhance the quality of life in the classroom or school. Each group will manufacture a prototype and will be entering their idea and prototype in the “Entrepreneur of the Year” competition where the best product/service will be determined.

b.  Introduce the concept of Productive Resources. (Natural, Capital, Human and Entrepreneurial)

c.  Give each group a prepared bag. Explain to your students that this bag represents “natural resources” (one of the four productive resources). Each group has resources unique and similar. This is similar to regions, states and nations. For instance, PA has the Marcellus Shale. Florida has the ocean.

d.  Explain that the classroom materials (scissors, tape, etc.) represent capital resources—tools of the trade. Schools have capital resources: desks, books, busses.

e.  They will provide the labor when they produce their product but their ideas during the discovery, concept development and resourcing part of the project is the job of the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur provides the thinking behind the product—the innovation. They also organize the other productive resources.

Equipment #1

Equipment #2


Have students begin brainstorming in their groups. (Discovery)

Once an idea has been decided on, students can barter with other groups for natural resources if they feel that will help them build a better product. A trade will happen only if both groups agree that it’s a good trade. (Concept Development and Resourcing) Note: Teacher can expand this lesson to include global trade.



Have the groups begin manufacturing. (Actualization)

Once products are produced the work groups develop a “sales presentation” to pitch their idea to another class. This can be done with “billboards” or “TV” adds, etc. (Another group of students, usually the same teachers students in another section, will do the judging).

Class Presentations Classroom presentations. Each group will present their product and explain its benefits to classroom peers.  
Optional Activity “Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Ceremony”—to highlight and reflect on learning.  

Formative Assessment

Criteria and goal setting: Question for understanding and knowing the learning target/goal and the criteria for reaching it.

Observation: Observations assist in gathering evidence of student learning and inform instructional planning.

Questioning strategy: An "exit slip" at the end of a class period to determine students' understanding of the day's lesson or quick checks during instruction such as "thumbs up/down" or "red/green" (stop/go) cards are also examples of questioning strategies that elicit immediate information about student learning.

Self and peer assessment: When students have been involved in criteria and goal setting, self-evaluation is a logical step in the learning process. With peer evaluation, students see each other as resources for understanding and checking for quality work against previously established criteria.

Related Materials & Resources


Susan Fox

Date Published

October 27, 2010
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