Unleashing Creativity :: Angela’s Creative Keychains – A First-Grade Business Adventure

Disclosure :: this post is sponsored by Ursuline Academy.

Unleashing Creativity :: Angela’s Creative Keychains – A First-Grade Business Adventure

Ursuline Academy of New Orleans, with a rich history dating back to 1727, has always been committed to fostering strong and independent girls. The spirit of being courageous and creative, which has been a hallmark of Ursuline education for centuries, is alive and well today. In the pursuit of empowering the next generation of trailblazers, each year our first graders spend weeks on a unique cross-curricular project known simply as the “First Grade Business,” where young minds are introduced to the fundamentals of entrepreneurship.

Creativity in Action:

students at Ursuline Academy working on Angela's Creative KeychainsThe cross-curricular program at Ursuline Academy takes a hands-on and creative approach to education. When learning about the economic concepts of wants / needs and goods / services, the girls put on their businesswomen hats! They quickly learn that they will be creating their very own business. Engaging in “business meetings” twice a week, the students delve into discussions on product development, branding, marketing, and sales. Working together as a unit, this collaborative project integrates art, music, social studies, and technology teachers. The girls immerse themselves in the creative process, developing a slogan, logo, jingle, and even shooting a commercial for their product. 

The Entrepreneurial Evolution:

In previous years, the first graders at Ursuline Academy have successfully created, marketed, and sold various products like slime or bath bombs. This past school year, they debated, evaluated, and ultimately agreed upon handcrafted keychains. Inspired by the Ursuline mission, the products were named the “Angela’s Creative Keychains,” an homage to the Ursulines revered foundress, St. Angela Merici. The decision to create unique Ursuline-themed keychains, including a special St. Angela keychain, exemplified their deep connection to their school and its history. The project became incredibly communal, with the girls collectively making over 500 keychains over the course of several weeks, fostering collaboration and camaraderie, as well as teaching them the value of working together to complete a singular goal. 

A Charitable Twist:

Ursuline Academy students display their handmade keychainsIn a heartwarming act inspired by Ursuline’s motto of Serviam, or I will serve, the first grade entrepreneurs chose to donate profits from the keychain sales to the LSPCA and Audubon Nature Institute. Despite having the freedom to spend the money however they pleased, the students opted to give back to the community, while also saving a portion for a well-deserved ice cream sundae party!

“Angela’s Creative Keychains” stands not just as a business venture but as a testament to the transformative power of hands-on, cross-curricular learning. The First Grade Business initiative at Ursuline Academy continues to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit in its students, fostering creativity, collaboration, and a sense of social responsibility that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on these young trailblazers.

Are you ready to learn more about Ursuline Academy? Join them for their Elementary (K-7) Open House on Tuesday, January 23th, at 8:30 a.m. Learn more HERE. 

About the Author

Mrs. Jenna Notarianni is a proud member of the Ursuline family. She attended schools in the Archdiocese her entire life and later graduated from the University of New Orleans with honors, earning a degree tailored to meet the needs of elementary-aged students. Teaching ballet and tap throughout her early adult years, she fell in love with developing children and molding them into their full potential. Her favorite part about being a teacher is making personal connections with her students. She joined the Ursuline family in 2017 and has two daughters who both attend.


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