Mr. Tanen's Tie Trouble

Mr. Tanen, the school principal, loves ties so much that he has purchased almost a thousand of them! However, he faces a scarcity problem – there is not enough money in the school budget to purchase playground equipment. But Mr. Tanen has a plan. He donates his ties for a “tie auction!” All the money raised through the auction will go towards purchasing the playground equipment. In the end, Mr. Tanen learns that his giving has not only been a blessing to the school, but to him as well.

Interested in using this resource in your classroom? Check out the posters that go along with this book: Scarcity, Goods and Services, Economic Wants, Price, Supply and Demand,

Comprehension Questions

What was the scarcity situation that Mr. Tanen faced at the beginning of the book?

Because many things at the school had to be fixed, there wasn’t enough money to purchase playground equipment for the school. The equipment, an economic want, was just too expensive.

Mr. Apple talked about a school budget. What is a budget?

A budget is a plan for keeping track of income and spending over a period of time. For example, in a home budget, one would keep track of money spent each month on housing, food, clothing, entertainment, utilities, etc. The goal is to try to make sure you don’t spend more than you earn.

What was Mr. Tanen’s plan for solving the playground equipment scarcity problem?

He planned to hold an auction and sell his many ties. He donated all his ties except one for the auction.

What is an auction?

In an auction, people bid on the specific goods offered for sale. The person who gets the good is the one who makes the highest bid i.e. offers the highest price.

What determines the price of the good sold in the auction?

The price depends on the demand for the good. If there is a large demand, the price will be higher. If there is not much demand, the price will be lower.

Why was Mr. Tanen so happy at the end of the story?

Although he gave all his ties away for the auction, the people were so grateful to him that they gave all his ties back!

Author: Maryann Cocca-Leffler
Illustrator: Maryann Cocca-Leffler
Published: 2011
Reading Level: 2
Grade Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader Level/Points: 0.5
Publisher: Albert Whitman and Company