Warren Morrow and his students held the 22nd annual “Morrowland USA” at O.P. Norman Junior High on Nov. 17.
Morrowland came about after a former junior high teacher, Theresa Liska, started “Liskaland” in her classroom to teach students about economics. Students in Liska’s class would have items for sale that other students could purchase in Liska’s classroom.
When Liska left, Morrow asked Mr. Crouch, the principle at the time, if he could continue the lesson/project for the students. Crouch agreed, leading to the title change of Morrowland USA.
Morrow first started teaching the economics lesson during his Texas history class; later Morrow began teaching the career investigations class where he teaches the students entrepreneurship and enterprise in addition to the original economics lesson that Liska started.
Morrow first has his students sign documentation that he pulls from the Kaufman County District Clerk’s office. This documentation shows the students what all goes into creating business as well as creating a name for the business. Morrow goes over the paperwork with the students as he plays a lawyer, clerk, and more rolls to allow the students a full view of the process.
Once the students have brain stormed and created their business name and decided the product they want to see, the students are tasked with figuring out the cost of everything they “owe on their business” out of their start up cost. However this money is only on paper, Morrow does not take money from the kids; it is only purposeful for the exercise. Having their costs laid out on paper teaches them that “they have to spend money to get money” said Morrow. With this task, students are making mature decisions as to whether they will pay for their product supplies out of pocket, pull out a loan from their parents, or if parents will donate money or purchase the product supplies. At the end of Morrowland the students are able to keep all the money they make; if they had a partnership the students split it evenly; if they took a loan out from the parents they pay that back then keep what is left.
At this year’s Morrowland there were 26 stations/booths in total. The final combined count of sales was still being called at the time of press. Some of the stations/booths this year were Kaufman spirit shirts, nachos, tamales, cotton candy, ice cream floats, deep fried oreos, peach cobbler, and a raffle for a television.
“My goal is for the students to just have fun with it,” said Morrow. “A kid came up to me and told me ‘we made money and we had fun.’”
Morrowland USA gives the students not only knowledge, but experience, and fond memories.
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