At the moment, my little sixth graders are in the throes of learning about economy. It's been going amazingly smooth so far... especially since I know very little about economy myself. I scrapped by with a low B in high school, made a 1 on the AP test (or did I even take it?), and completely avoided it in college. But here I am teaching kids about exporting and importing, goods and services, and a whole bunch of other complicated economic terms.
The one lesson that was probably the hardest (and which I'm still not sure if the kids really understand) is Factors of Production. You know... land, labor and capital. Except we called them "human resources," "capital resources," and "natural resources."
Somehow they don't seem to equate human to literally mean human (I'm still getting kids who think a car is a human resource since it's made by humans--that by the way, would make it a capital resource). And then let's not even get started on natural resources...
"Is paper a natural resource?"
"But it's made from trees..."
"Exactly, the tree is the natural resource... you don't just naturally pick paper off a tree."
In one particular class, a student got stumped over the idea of animals being natural resources... because, animals don't just come out of the ground. And they don't grow on trees, either. So I got the question, "Where do they come from?" I honestly had no clue what to say to this... I mean, they are born. Did this kid know about reproduction yet? Was I supposed to explain that to him? So, I took the somewhat easy way out...
Me: What do you mean 'where do they come from?' Where do you come from?
Kid: I mean, what made them? How do they exist?
Me: (blank stare)
Kid: I mean, they don't grow naturally like plants do...
Me: (bigger blank stare)
Then, out of no where, another kid yells out, "JESUS MADE THEM!" Which prompted another kid to yell out, "Hallelujah!" and another, "Amen!" and the whole class basically erupts into a weird, warped praise service over where animals come from. A part of me was proud... a part of me was horrified... but mostly, I was just laughing my butt off.
For some reason, that seemed to settle things. The first kid seemed pretty satisfied and we got back to learning. And it made me think one thing: If only we could all be just like kids. And let Jesus be the correct answer to every question we have, and every conundrum we face.