Grade K-2, 3-5

Teach Specialization using Sloth and Squirrel in a Pickle

Time: 30 mins,
Updated: April 10 2024,


Students will be able to:

  • Listen to a story and determine the advantages of setting goals, being creative, and making money.  
  • Define and understand the meaning of specialization. 
  • Participate in a hands-on activity that reinforces the featured concepts of specialists/entrepreneurs, workers, capital resources, and products. 

This elementary lesson plan has students participate in hands-on activities that reinforces the concepts of specialists/entrepreneurs, workers, capital resources, and products using a picture book. When we specialize, we focus on one thing and get really good at it. People tend to specialize in those things they like doing, find interesting, or have an aptitude for. It is to be noted that specialization also takes place during the production of goods and services. Work on a production line is divided and workers perform different jobs. This makes it possible to get more work done and allows people to specialize in the part of the job they do best.   

Story Synopsis of Sloth and Squirrel in a Pickle

A pair of unlikely friends decide they would like a new tandem bike and begin their pursuit to earn money to purchase one.  Mr. Peacock, the manager of a pickle-packing company, hires them and it does not go well.   Squirrel’s plan to specialize, with him packing the jars and Sloth attaching the labels, backfires. When Mr. Peacock discovers six hundred and seventy-seven pickle jars with upside down labels, he fires them. Stating he cannot pay them for their work, he gives them the unsellable pickles. The entrepreneurial friends turn their mistake into a unique business, make a profit, and surpass their goal.