Grade 6-8

NOT your Grandma’s Lemonade Stand

Time: 60 mins,
Updated: August 27 2020,


Students will be able to:

  • Identify the choices made by entrepreneurs by operating a lemonade stand.
  • Explain the risks of being an entrepreneur.

In this economics lesson, students manage a virtual lemonade stand to learn about entrepreneurship.



Show Slides 2 through 4. Ask students if any of their parents or family members own a business – or if they have shopped in a business that is locally owned. Explain that business owners are often called entrepreneurs because they take all the risk of owning and operating a business. Tell students that entrepreneurs are faced with making many choices about their businesses every day. They must decide what to sell, the price to sell it, how many to order, how to market or advertise, to name a few decisions they make.


Show Slide 5. Ask students if they have ever opened a lemonade stand or seen one in their neighborhood. Tell them that lemonade stands have been a common business for children for many years. It can be a fun way for them to make money, but they can also lose all of their money – and their lemonade. Tell students there are some key terms to know and understand that will help them be a successful entrepreneur with their lemonade stand or with any other business. Review the terms in Slides 6 through 8. Explain they will be using these terms to learn how to run a virtual lemonade stand. Show Slide 9 with the Norman Rockwell artwork. Tell students this is a famous drawing by Norman Rockwell that shows some neighborhood children at their lemonade stand. Tell students that picture may be similar to a lemonade stand operated by their grandparents but still has many of the basics used today. Have students use the picture to answer questions in the Lemonade Stand Activity. (Note: You may choose to complete this activity with the class as a whole, in small groups, or with individual students.) Discuss the answers to debrief the activity.

Group Activity

Put students in small groups of 2 or 3 students. Tell them they will now be making decisions about their own lemonade stand. Have student click on the Lemonade Stand online game and discuss the possible decisions they must make in order to play the game. Some choices include how many cups to buy, how much to charge, how much to spend for advertising; all of these are typical decisions made by entrepreneurs every day. Remind students the TV gives them the weather forecast for the day to help with their decisions. Tell students they need to operate their lemonade for 14 days and record their work on Group Activity: Lemonade Stand Activity Sheet. After each group has completed 14 days of operating their lemonade stands, show Slide 10 and ask students the questions listed to debrief the activity. Have students play the game again and charge more (or less) than they did the first time. Review questions on Slide 11 to see what differences they experienced the second time around.

Individual Activity

Ask students if they feel inspired to go open their own lemonade stands. Remind them that opening and operating a real business is different from playing a simulation. Even though the simulation can help them understand the basics, playing a game has less risk than an entrepreneur faces when opening a business. Tell students they need to ask a variety of questions before opening their lemonade stand or any business, and the following activity will help them prepare their list of question. Show students How to Run a Lemonade Stand to review the steps for opening a lemonade stand. Discuss each slide with the class and have students write down one question they should ask related to each slide. (For example, slide 1 is Making Plans. The question they might want to ask is What are the laws in my city for opening a lemonade stand?). After reviewing the information, have students discuss their questions with the rest of the class. Ask students if they can think of other questions they need answered before starting their business.


Have students respond to the following questions, either in writing or as a class discussion:

  • What did you like about running your own business?
  • What did you dislike about running your own business?
  • What was the greatest challenge of running your business?
  • What did you learn from this activity?
  • Would you like to be an entrepreneur?


Activity 1

Remind students that entrepreneurs use a variety of resources to operate a business. Review the slides on the web site (used in the individual activity) to have students identify the key resources needed to open a lemonade stand.