Posted on January 11, 2023 at 2:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

NPR's Planet Money podcast embarked on an experiment recently, in a third-grade classroom.

And the results were ... somewhat unexpected.

Host Erika Beras discovered an article by teacher Mandy Robek, who uses storybooks to teach economics to her third-grade students, and wanted to try her hand at it as well.

Robek's school was willing to host, so Beras solicited book recommendations from economists. 

Among them: Put Me In The Zoo by Robert Lopshire; Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein; and The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss.

That last book is where the day took a sharp turn.

The district's communications person had seen the book list in advance and was sitting in the classroom as Robek read and students commented.

But during The Sneetches, one student commented that the book reminded him of how Black people were once treated.

A few pages later, the communications person cuts Robek off, saying the book "isn't teaching anything about economics, and this is a little bit more about differences with race."

Head to NPR's transcript of the episode (where you can also listen to the audio) to see the ultimate conclusions drawn from what happened in that classroom.

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Categories: Today in Books

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