Saturday Sancocho

Making chicken sancocho is a traditional Saturday treat for Maria Lili. But when Papa announces one morning that there is no money for sancocho, Maria Lili, and her grandmother go to the market to barter for the ingredients.

Interested in using this resource in your classroom? Check out the posters that go along with this book: Trade & Money, Goods & Services, Economic Wants, Producers, Consumers, Market.

Comprehension Questions

Why did Maria Lili and Mama Ana go to the market?

They went to buy ingredients for chicken sancocho.

Since eggs were not an ingredient in sancocho, why did Mama Ana say, "Then we will use the eggs to make sancocho?"

They had no money to buy the ingredients. They would use the eggs to barter for other ingredients.

What is barter?

Barter is trading (exchanging) goods or services without using the money.

List all the goods that Maria Lili and Mama Ana acquired at the market through trading.

Plantains, cassava, corn, carrots, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, cumin, chicken.

Explain why bartering was sometimes difficult in the story.

Some of the people did not agree on the produce to be exchanged. For voluntary trade to take place, each person must want what the other person has and be willing to trade for it.

Compare trading goods (barter) to using the money.

Barter requires that each person is willing to trade for the good the other person has; with money, this is not necessary since money can be exchanged for any good.

Is it true that both people in a trade expect to benefit?

Yes, if the trade is voluntary, each person ends up with a good or service he values more than the one he traded away. Hence, both people benefit. Voluntary trade is not a zero-sum activity, with a winner and a loser.

In the story, Mama Ana "haggled" with Dona Petrona, who had chickens for sale. What does it mean to haggle? Do we haggle in our own economy?

Haggle means to argue back and forth about the price of a good or service that you want to buy from a seller. In our economy, we don't haggle about most goods we buy in stores, but we do often haggle when buying an expensive good, such as a car or house. The time it takes to haggle may very well be worth it!

Author: Leyla Torres
Published: 1999
Reading Level: 4.4
Grade Level: Pre K-3
Accelerated Reader Level/Points: .5
Publisher: Farrar Straus & Girioux