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donnaodonnellfigurski.com - NO MONEY NO PROBLEM
No Money? No Problem!
No Money? No Problem!
written by Lori Haskins
illustrated by John Nez
Kane Press
ISBN: 1575651416
Ages 4-8

Don’t you just hate it when you don’t have enough money to buy what you want? You know -- that dress with the pink and orange umbrellas in the store window downtown, or the complete set of square marbles, the one-of-a-kind, kind, or maybe it’s the dyed-purple alligator purse that you have been dying for. Okay . . . so maybe you never wanted a dyed-purple alligator purse. Well, neither did I, but you know what I mean.

When Amy saw Super Cowboy Dinosaurs From Space 1, she had to have it, no matter what the cost. Unfortunately, the cost was prohibitive, but Amy’s ideas were not. Amy solved her problem of not having enough money in a very creative way and she had a lot of fun doing it.

Lori Haskins and John Nez combined their talents to produce NO MONEY? NO PROBLEM! in their new SOCIAL STUDIES CONNECTS book, which also “connects” to math. It sort of takes you back to the “old” days when money could be just about anything . . . a chicken, a sack of flour, or helping to raise the barn. So, the next time you find yourself with NO MONEY, just think of something that you have that someone else just might be dying for. Then barter away! Hmmm . . . anyone have an old, sneaker?

This review can also be seen on: SmartWriters
FROM the MOUTHS of KIDDLE CRITers: a critique group

“Amy wanted a video game,” said Zach.

“Yeah, she really liked Super Cowboy Dinosaurs From Space 1,” said Sarit.

“It must be a good game because everybody wanted it,” said Anya.

“But she couldn’t afford it,” said Juan.

“I wonder how Amy felt when she didn’t have enough money?” asked Becky.

“She was upset,” said Kurtis, “because she only had $0.52. But I have $229.00 . . . so I bet I’d be able to buy that game for sure.” He laughed.

“Then Amy watched a show. It talked about trading,” said Zach.

“Yeah, the TV said to barter,” said Philippe. “So Amy bartered and she got what she wanted.” Then he grinned. “I would do the same!”

Hannah looked thoughtful. “I once felt like Amy,” she said. “I really wanted a game that my friend had, so I traded and then I got it.”

“I like the way this book used the word, bartering instead of the word, trading. It’s a good vocabulary word,” said Anya.

“Well, actually it is the same thing,” explained Kurtis. “ . . . just two different names – trading--bartering.”

“Amy traded so many things,” said Katie-Erin. “She just wanted something good for her friend.”

“Yeah, like a ping-pong paddle,” said Becky.

“Amy is a good sport and she is never going to give up until she gets that game,” said Hannah.

“Right, Amy kept on bartering until she had something that Matt would surely want,” said Kurtis.

“That was nice of Ben to give Amy his skateboard to barter with for that game,” said Lucy.

“Yeah, but in return she had to scratch her brother’s feet,” said Zach with a look of disgust plastered to his face.

“I wonder if Ben’s feet were stinky?” asked Becky.

Juan frowned. “I really don’t think that scratching someone’s feet with a spatula is worth it!” he said.

“This book is very cool because it was kind of real,” said Katie-Erin.

“If I were to barter something, I would barter my computer for a snowboard that they sell at the sports store,” said Kurtis.

“If someone traded me a sister, I would give them money,” said Katie-Erin.

“I would barter my brother to stop crying every time he doesn’t get something he wants,” said Anya. “I’d trade him for a girl-sister.” She giggled.

“I think kids should barter if they have no money,” said Kurtis. “Then kids could get the things that they want.”

“And then Amy wanted Super Cowboy Dinosaurs From Space 2,” said Tony.

“So, she started trading all over again,” said Katie-Erin.

“UNBELIEVABLE!” said Anya.


FROM TRASH to TREASURE Math/Social Studies

Bartering was the system of trade before actual money was invented. And a fine system it was! People in the ”OLD” days bartered all the time. Doctors healed for a pig or a carton of eggs. The Baker might have traded a loaf of bread to have his wagon fixed. Bartering can also be a good way to get rid of something you don’t want or need anymore. Nowadays, bartering may be considered another way to recycle. One person’s trash may be another person’s treasure.

1. First, read NO MONEY? NO PROBLEM! to your class.

2. Then discuss the concept of bartering. (trading, swapping) Kids have the general idea because they often barter items from their lunches. “I’ll trade you my liver and onion sandwich for your chocolate chip cookie.” Yeah, right!!!!

3. Have each child bring in an item that they would like to trade. (Be sure they check with their parents. I always write a note to parents explaining the project and asking them to sign a permission slip for the item their child has chosen to barter. Ex. Child’s name has my permission to bring item to school to barter with his classmates. Impress upon the children that whatever they barter is for keeps. So remind them not to bring in their favorite toy or book.

4. Then set aside a “TRASH to TREASURE day for children to get right down to bartering. Encourage them to barter more than once to obtain the item they wish to have.


Use the old fashioned bartering system to encourage your class to work on their good citizenship skills. Each time you notice a Kiddle helping a friend, being extra kind, doing his work neatly and/or correctly, or going above and beyond, give him a reward token to encourage more good behavior. When a Kiddle accumulates enough tokens, he can barter for a prize from the “Prize Bucket.”

1. First, read NO MONEY? NO PROBLEM! to your class. Then discuss the concept of bartering (trading, swapping) with them. Explain that they will be able to earn tokens for good behavior, which they can use to barter for a variety of prizes.

2. Next, show the prizes, which have been separated into value-related groups and placed in buckets. Be sure each bucket displays the value of its contents so that the Kiddles may decide which prizes they wish to work for. It works well if there is a selection of buckets with many different values. (3T, 5T, 10T, 15T, 20T, etc.) (T = Tokens)

3. Then, have the class choose their reward tokens (marbles, unifix cubes, paperclips, etc.) and give each Kiddle a container large enough to hold about ten tokens. (a zip lock bag works well)

4. Have the Kiddles suggest ways in which they can earn tokens. (following directions, walking quietly in the hallway, being sure that their name and date is on all of their work, proper clean-up of all equipment, etc.) List all appropriate choices on Chart Paper and hang in a prominent area of the classroom.

5. Set aside one afternoon a week when the Kiddles can barter their tokens for prizes from the “Prize Bucket.”

6. When a Kiddle earns 10 tokens or more, he is eligible to barter his tokens for a prize from one or more of the “Prize Buckets.” Because there are many buckets with higher values, a Kiddle may also opt to save his tokens to earn a more valuable prize.

7. Set aside one afternoon a week for bartering.

(Although I examined these websites and found them to be very helpful, please use them at your own discretion.)

TRADE PLACE http://library.thinkquest.org/3901/janis/superpage.htm
Changing Face of Money http://www.econedlink.org/lessons/index.cfm?lesson=EM179
The History of Money http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/moolah/history.html


On Sand Island by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated
by Dave McKean
Bearhide and Crow by Paul Brett Johnson
Blackberry Booties written by Tricia Gardella, illustrated by Glo Coalson
Estela’s Swap written by Alexis O’Neill, illustrated by Enrique O. Sanchez
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