Grade K-2

Teach Entrepreneurship with “Arthur’s Pet Business”

Time: 45 mins,
Updated: April 18 2024,
Author: Marsha Masters


Students will be able to:

  • Define characteristics of entrepreneurship, identify risks and rewards of being an entrepreneur.
  • Distinguish between businesses that produce goods and those that provide services.

In this economics lesson, students will read the children’s book, Arthur’s Pet Business, to learn about entrepreneurship.



To begin this lesson, give each student an index card. Give students thirty seconds to think about something they would really, really like to have. Give students 3 minutes to draw a picture of the item on one side of the card. Ask students to hold the card up once they are done. Once all students raise their drawing, ask students how they could buy that item. (Answers may vary, but may include thoughts like: save money, borrow money, or earn money.)

Share with students that people work to earn money so they can buy things like they have drawn on their card. Give students 2 minutes to draw a picture of a job they could do to earn money on the other side of the card. Share with students that some people work for companies, businesses or organizations. Others choose to be their own boss and start their own business. Those people are called entrepreneurs. Tell students that today a familiar book character, Arthur, will set a goal and accomplish that goal by starting a business.  Tell students they will learn about the risks and rewards that have to be considered when starting a business.


Read aloud Arthur’s Pet Business. The following questions can be used as guided reading questions to ask students during the read aloud:

  • Ask students what Arthur’s goal was in the story. [Arthur’s goal was to get a puppy.]
  • What did Arthur’s parents say would have to occur before he could get a puppy? [He would need to prove he was responsible.]
  • What did DW say was the best way to show he was responsible? [He should get a job.]
  • What were the first two job options suggested to Arthur? [He could work as a bank teller or at Joe’s Junkyard.]
  • What did Francine suggest? [Arthur should do something he liked to do.]
  • The story tells us that Arthur then had an idea. What was his idea? [He decided to start his own pet sitting service because he liked pets. It would give him an opportunity to show he was responsible and do something he liked to do.]
  • Was the pet business a good risk for Arthur to take as he became an entrepreneur? [Answers may vary. Ask students to explain their thoughts.]
  • What service did Arthur provide for Perky? [Arthur brushed her, fixed her favorite foods, and took her on a lot of walks.]
  • What new pet did Arthur provide a service for on Thursday? [Cuddles, the boa constrictor]
  • At the end of the story, did Arthur achieve his goal? [Yes, he received a puppy thanks to his hard work and demonstrating responsibility.] Was his business successful? [The story doesn’t tell us, but we assume so.]
  • When an entrepreneur has decided on a business to start, like Arthur, what do you think might need to be done next? [Answers will vary but may include: They must gather the resources necessary to run the business, they must convince consumers they want their good or service, and they need to advertise their business.]
  • What did Arthur do so consumers would know about his pet business? [He and Francine made a sign to advertise. His family helped, also.]
  • Arthur realized one of the costs of running his own business when his friend Buster invited him to go to the movie on Saturday. What happened? [Arthur couldn’t go with his friend because he had to clean the cages and feed all the pets.] An entrepreneur often has to work many long hours and often misses some fun things.  Ask students if they think an entrepreneur thinks the benefits outweigh the costs. [Answers will vary. Encourage students to explain their thoughts.]

Group Activity

Open the Entrepreneurs: In the Business of Goods and Services PowerPoint slide deck and display the deck to students. Within the PowerPoint slide deck there are speaking notes to help you. Review each slide with your class. Throughout the slide deck, connect the terms to the book Arthur’s Pet Business. In the PowerPoint slide deck the following terms are reviewed: entrepreneur, goods, and services. Then, you will use the PowerPoint slide deck to review businesses that produce goods and provide services. Read the store name. Students need to determine if the business produces a good or provides a service by showing a thumbs up for good or thumbs down for service. Click on the PowerPoint slide to show the correct answer. 

Individual Activity

Students will demonstrate their understanding of entrepreneurship by completing the Open for Business individual activity.


Students will demonstrate their understanding by playing Move If…. Download the document and read the instructions. This assessment requires colored construction paper.


Activity 1

Picturing Economics Activity: Print/Download the Picturing Economics worksheet. Using newspapers, magazines or student’s own drawings, have each student show an example of each of the concepts they learned during the lesson.

Activity 2


Invite an entrepreneur to the classroom. Challenge students to identify risks and rewards of being an entrepreneur and whether the entrepreneur produces a good or provides a service.

Activity 3

Welcome to Entrepreneurville, U.S.A! Activity. This is a classroom and family project. Print/Download the Welcome to Entrepreneurville, U.S.A.! worksheet. Using a shoebox, have students create a new business. The shoebox should feature the name of the business as well as the goods or services the business provides to consumers. Allow adequate time for families to work on the assessment. When students bring their entrepreneurship project to class, have each student share about the business he/she has chosen to start and whether that business produces a good or provides a service. Assemble a class town of the businesses students chose to start.



Miscellaneous Items

  • Index Cards
  • Construction Paper
  • Arthur’s Pet Business: Story by Marc Brown, Brown Books for Young Readers. April, 1993, ISBN# 978-0316113168