Sam and the Lucky Money

Sam can't wait to go shopping in Chinatown with his mom. He has his traditional gift of "lucky money" to spend - anyway he chooses! But when Sam realizes he doesn't have enough money to purchase the things he wants, his excitement turns to disappointment. His mother reminds him that he should appreciate his gift, although Sam is not convinced - until he has a surprise encounter with a poor stranger.

Interested in using this resource in your classroom? Check out the posters that go along with this book: Scarcity, Goods & Services.

Comprehension Questions

How did Sam get the four dollars that he had to spend?

He got it as a traditional gift from his grandparents for the Chinese New Year.

How do grown up people normally get the money they spend?

They work at their jobs to earn their income/money.

What were some of the goods in the stores that Sam considered buying with this money?

Pastries such as sweet egg tarts, coconut pastries; toys such as cars, planes, robots, stuffed animals, and basketballs.

What was the scarcity problem in the story that made Sam angry and disappointed?

He didn't have enough income/money to get the toys that he wanted!

What scarcity problem did the old, poor man face?

He had very little or no money. He couldn't buy the things he wanted - such as shoes, food, and shelter.

What are some possible reasons why the man was so poor?

There are many possible answers. Some may not be the man's fault - too ill to work, couldn't find a job, natural disaster destroyed his farm, etc. Some may be the result of poor decisions he made - didn't work hard at school or on other jobs he had, decided he didn't want to work, etc.

Do all people face scarcity situations with their money, even rich people?

Yes! All people, regardless of how much money they have, tend to want more than they can afford to buy.

Author: Karen Chinn
Illustrator: Cornelius Van Wright, Ying-Hwa Hu
Published: 1997
Reading Level: 3.3
Accelerated Reader Level/Points: .5
Publisher: Lee & Low Books