Kid Pickers: How to Turn Junk into Treasure

Kid Pickers: How to Turn Junk into Treasure


$13.49 $14.99 Save 10% Current price is $13.49, Original price is $14.99. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, March 4
30 New & Used Starting at $1.99


The star of the hit television show American Pickers shares his love of treasure-hunting with kids.

Mike Wolfe's love for "picking" started with old bikes, cigar boxes, and other collectibles people may have called "junk." A self-taught picker, the TV star now shares his passion for picking antiques with his enthusiastic kid audience, and offers tips on collecting, sorting through flea market offerings, asking relatives about family heirlooms, and much, much more. In the process, kids will pick up history, research skills, and new hobbies galore (and maybe even help clean the attic).

Kids love treasure-hunting. Kid Pickers is a fun and practical resource from one of the most popular pros around.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250019301
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: 04/16/2013
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 755,159
Product dimensions: 8.90(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile: 1030L (what's this?)
Age Range: 7 - 12 Years

About the Author

Mike Wolfe has been diggin' and pickin' through junk since the age of four. As the star of the History Channel hit show American Pickers, Mike travels more than 60,000 miles a year around the country "making a living telling the history of America, one piece at a time." He divides his time between LeClaire, Iowa, and Nashville, Tennessee, where he owns the store Antique Archaeology.

Lily Sprengelmeyer is a third-grade elementary school teacher. She has been a lifelong picker, growing up in her father's eclectic antique store, La Belle Epoque in Galena, Illinois, where Mike Wolfe was a regular. She continues to reside in Galena.

Read an Excerpt

Kid Pickers

How to Turn Junk into Treasure

By Mike Wolfe, Lily Sprengelmeyer, Mike Right

Feiwel and Friends

Copyright © 2013 Mike Wolfe
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-01930-1



BY SIMPLY PICKING UP THIS BOOK, chances are you're probably a "picker" at heart, just like me. You've got a passion for rediscovering those once-forgotten items of our past, and the stories they tell. You love the excitement of hunting through old items, or those that were tossed aside to collect dust. You understand their importance because you picked it, and you've begun a new chapter in the life of your picked item ... now, that's cool.

So let's forget about what something's worth, or what everyone else around you likes. It's time to create your own story; find your own Passion. That's right, put on some old jeans, grab a flashlight, and set out for the journey that lies ahead. The adventure is all about finding — picking — items that will connect you closer to yourself and the people that surround you. Whether these items have been cherished in your family for centuries or you've uncovered a rusty broken wheel in your backyard, the point is it's your pick and that's what makes you a true Kid Picker.

As a seasoned picker myself, trust me when I say you've got all the tools you'll need just by going out and finding what you like. My favorite memories as a Kid Picker were those in which I was the leader of my own journey, going out in search of whatever caught my eye. Curiosity will be your best guide (and, of course, this wonderful book you're holding), as you are now the creator of your very own picking story. Join me by following the guidelines in the chapters ahead on searching, finding, collecting, sharing, and creating your own story. Your journey awaits, fellow Kid Pickers. What will your story be?


AGE 10

COLLECTS: Bottles, rockets, old toys

BEST PICK SO FAR: Old bottles found while digging in the dirt near his grandfather's shop




BEFORE YOU SET OUT into the world of picking, there are a few basics you'll need to know to get the best finds. And if you're like most beginning Kid Pickers, you probably don't have much in the piggy bank. No need to worry! The best picks you'll find will probably amount to the change found under your parents' couch, or your weekly allowance. But to be the very best Kid Picker in your neighborhood, you'll need to know where to look for the next best find. (And ask permission from your parents, too!)

Have a look at my list of the best picking places to explore, and if you're really interested, why not start your own neighborhood picker club? (Just make sure you're the boss!) Besides, picking in a group is much safer, and a whole lot more fun.


Picking in a group is one of the best ways to pick. Two sets of eyes are always better than one.


1 Your Neighborhood Garage Sales

I love scouring the newspaper for the next best pick. Start looking in your local paper, or simply keep your eyes peeled for signs advertising YARD SALE, GARAGE SALE, or even better yet, MOVING SALE. A moving sale usually means people have stuff they want to get rid of, which amounts to more items to pick from and better prices. Be prepared to use your bargaining skills. But I'll let the one and only Mr. PICKtionary tell you more about what it really means to bargain.



(the "official" picker dictionary) for all your reference needs!

BARGAINING — Bargaining means that you're negotiating with the seller to get the very best price. Say you find an old box of G.I. Joe action figures, priced at $2.00 each. This is where you will use your bargaining skills to offer to buy three G.I. Joe figures for $5. It's a win-win situation! The seller is happy to get rid of unwanted items, and you saved a few bucks by using a bit of confidence and some bargaining techniques.


Don't be afraid to bargain down prices wherever you pick. Nine times out of ten you'll get a better deal, and heck, all you had to do was ask!

2 Secondhand Stores (aka Thrift Stores)

Secondhand what ... you say? You know the places where your family donates items they don't want anymore? Well, that is exactly where you should hunt for the treasures that other people thought were merely junk, too. Some of my favorite undiscovered finds at secondhand stores are old board games and books. I love finding really old books and looking inside the covers, since people often wrote in them with old inkwell pens to tell who previously owned it, or wrote an inscription if it was a gift. It's great to imagine who may have owned it before. And board games are fun just because you can remind your parents how old they are. Take a look below at some of the secondhand stores you may have heard of and that may be in your area:

• Goodwill Industries

• St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Stores

• Salvation Army

• Arc Thrift Stores

3 The Auction!

Place your bids, Kid Pickers. Auctions are some of my favorite places to pick! An auction is not only going to be filled with interesting people from your town, but more importantly a wide assortment of unwanted stuff — the perfect place for a beginning picker. At an auction, an item or multiple items are offered up for bidding, with the highest bidder "winning" the item. You'll have to listen closely, as the auctioneer will likely be the fastest talker you've ever heard (it takes some time to get used to). Check out the list below for a few things to remember before you start bidding:

• You will need to go with an adult who can sign up for an ID number that you can bid with (don't worry, it doesn't cost anything to register).

• Try to get to an auction early, so you can look at what you are bidding on. (Don't forget to look under all those boxes, or any place other people may have looked over, since this is where you may find the best deals.)

• KNOW WHAT YOU ARE BIDDING ON! I'm serious about this, Kid Pickers. Auction life can be quite fast paced, so make sure you know the item you want to bid on and the limit of what you want to spend. I guarantee you, Mom or Dad will not be too happy if you spend more than you have, and you will be stuck mowing Aunt Cindy's lawn for the next three summers....

4 Antique Stores

I'm sure you're familiar with them. Antique stores are sometimes old, often disorganized, and well ... let's be honest, a bit smelly. Although they may be pricier than thrift stores or flea markets, there's always a chance of finding something that even the antique dealers have overlooked. Good dealers are history experts (it's what they do for a living), so if an item catches your eye — ask about it. I guarantee you'll leave with some interesting facts and hopefully an item you've picked. So get to work with that kid charm of yours, and don't forget to talk down prices. Let them know you mean business.

5 Flea Markets

Did you just say what I think you said? Fleas, as in those pesky things that bite animals (including your favorite dog, Knuckles)? Well, technically, I did say "flea," but this type of flea refers to a place where people bring items to sell. Flea markets can be held outdoors, but often you will find them set up in an old building, warehouse, or even your school gymnasium! Flea markets are a great place to bargain with people. I like to think of them as really big garage sales with all different types of people and things. So check out your local paper, or search the Internet for local areas your parents may be willing to drive you to.

If you're wondering where such a name like "FLEA MARKET" came to be, the term actually originated from European street markets where vendors sold many secondhand goods — so many that they were thought to gather fleas!


AGE 10

COLLECTS: Old cars (including Matchbox), Lincoln Logs and other old building logs, old toys

BEST PICK SO FAR: Old Ferris wheel toy and old car toy bought at flea market




IT'S A SAD TRUTH, my fellow Kid Pickers, but the average person (yes — that means you) throws away almost 1,460 pounds of trash every single year. But by simply being a picker and reusing items, you can make a difference. I'm proof that saving the earth can be a lot of fun. Who knows, you might even end up making a living out of it someday!

If you're asking yourself what picking has to do with saving the earth, think about it: Every time you choose to use something that was once considered trash (or items others no longer have a use for), you are reusing them, or in picker terminology, repurposing. Put simply, repurposing means making use of something again; what was once considered old, is ... new again.

Think of yourself as a "treasure rescuer." Every time you use an item no longer considered worthy or valuable, you are finding a new home for something that may have ended up in a garbage dump or been lost forever. Not only is it wasteful to trash useful items, but it adds to the problem of finding more space for our landfills. That is why it is so important to find the creativity within yourself, to see old items in a new way. Take a look at some more reasons why it's cool to repurpose:

The not-so-glamorous definition of a LANDFILL is what we usually call a "garbage dump." Landfills are generally built on low, flat land, where layers upon layers of trash are separated by clay, some type of lining, and soil, so as to keep as much harmful stuff from leaking into the soil as possible. (You don't want garbage juice to end up in your drinking water.)

Your History Rocks

Every item you pick has a story, or history, all to itself. That is what makes each item so unique. Close your eyes and imagine the life your item had before you. Think of the child who once played with an old toy (maybe your parents or grandparents owned it), or all of the adventures an old bicycle has seen. The more wear and tear an item has, the more it's been loved, just like an old teddy bear found tucked away under boxes: It may be missing an eye or two, but it only means it was once cherished. The point is — use your imagination and curiosity to find out the rest (and read on about history in Chapter Four). The possibilities are endless. Just think of all the cool things waiting to be uncovered and appreciated by a creative Kid Picker like you.

Your Item Is Unique

Being unique means being one of a kind, and whatever treasure you make is your own; no two will be the same. Look at the years of wear and tear as added style points — heck, no one else will have the exact same one, right? So if you feel like collecting old soda bottles and making your room into a 1950s soda parlor ... then do it. No one ever stood out in a crowd by doing what everyone else was doing.


Perfection is boring in my eyes. I'd pick a pair of vintage jeans any day over any new pair found in a store. Worn jeans have a history ... and that's cool.

You Save Money

Who doesn't want to save money? I can assure you, your parents will agree, too (college is expensive!). When you don't have to use the earth's natural resources to make a new item you would buy at the store, you most likely will not have to pay as much for it, either. Many of the items you pick won't even cost you a thing, since you're repurposing something that someone may have tossed in the trash pile. That makes cents!


AGE 11

COLLECTS: Jewelry, old pots and pewter items, old tools, Radio Flyer sleds, wind chimes, small glasses, all things metal

BEST PICK SO FAR: Old tires that were resold to a used-tire wholesaler





Have you ever found an old family photograph tucked away under boxes? Or discovered a letter written long ago? These artifacts tell a story, not only of when and where you found it, but more importantly about who may have made it or owned it before you. Think about what the person was like who owned it before it arrived in your hands. How old do you think the object is? Where did it come from? The true excitement lies in the mystery behind the items you pick, and I love history. It's unlikely you'll find out all there is to know about your object, and that's what makes the journey truly rewarding; use your imagination to fill in the rest.

When you pick, you're likely to come across a wide assortment of ARTIFACTS. An artifact is a man-made (yes ... made by a human) object that has a particular use. So if somebody made it, it's an artifact.


Since I'm sure most of you have heard of the movie Star Wars, let's pretend you bought a totally awesome Star Wars lunch box at a neighbor's garage sale a few weeks ago. Score! You've found an item and now what? How old is it? Who may have been the previous owner? How much is it worth? Where do I find more information on other Star Wars collectibles? Check out the list on the following pages for some great ways to find the history behind your pick.


With thousands, and I mean literally thousands, of books about Star Wars memorabilia, you're sure to find at least one at your local library that could give you some information on your latest pick. And if you're lucky, you may even find a book on collectible lunch boxes alone (there are several to choose from).


Type in the keywords "star wars" (in quotation marks) on a popular computer search engine like Google and you will find literally millions of hits covering everything there is to know about the topic (in fact, more than 170 million Star Wars hits, in case you were wondering). The only problem is, that is an overwhelming number. And more than likely you'll have trouble finding any information on your mysterious Star Wars lunch box. Have no fear! An easy way to search for any item you pick is to look it up on eBay or Amazon (Web sites where you can buy and sell items). You'll not only find your Star Wars lunch box, but you'll also find out some history behind your pick, and how much it is selling for. Keep in mind, be as specific as possible about the item you are searching for. Type in as many keywords as you can about the item you are researching, such as "1970s Star Wars vintage lunch box with thermos," otherwise you may be overwhelmed with hits.


Beware of what you read on the Internet, since often not all the information is factual. So, play it safe and double-check your facts in a book on the topic. Visit your local library for help.



Didn't you say you found your lunch box at a local garage sale? Well, what are you waiting for? Go back to your neighbors' house and ask them about your item. Chances are they have a story behind it, and would love to share it with you. What you pick says a lot about the person you are, and when you venture out in your community to learn more, you're connecting to your roots (there's no place like home). Every community has interesting characters with stories to tell; it's your job to find them and make certain they are never forgotten. Besides, I love talking to people firsthand about where items come from — I learn something every time and it's often a total surprise.

Who knows? You might find out that twenty years ago your lunch box was owned by a boy who used it every day for lunch throughout elementary school. I guarantee you won't find that information on the Internet or at the library! Your item now has a new sense of value because you know how much someone used it and loved it before you became a part of its history. Continue your picking journey, and maybe repurpose it to a once-again functioning lunch box. Who knows — you may start a new trend at school by having the first cool vintage lunch box.



COLLECTS: Rusty metal, old artifacts, antique toys, old pieces and parts

BEST PICK SO FAR: All of it. "You can't throw away history!"


Excerpted from Kid Pickers by Mike Wolfe, Lily Sprengelmeyer, Mike Right. Copyright © 2013 Mike Wolfe. Excerpted by permission of Feiwel and Friends.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

A Word from the Creator 1

Chapter 1 What's a Kid Picker? 7

Kid Picker Profile: Austin 10

Chapter 2 Getting Started 13

Kid Picker Profile: Colt 28

Chapter 3 Picking with a Purpose 31

Kid Picker Profile: Hannah 40

Chapter 4 Every Pick has a Story 43

Kid Picker Profile: Jonah 54

Chapter 5 Unlocking Your Past 57

Kid Picker Profile: Preston 70

Chapter 6 Rusty Gold 73

Kid Picker Profile: Will 84

Chapter 7 Picker's Style 87

Kid Picker Profile: Chloeparis 96

My Picker Farewell 99

Kid Picker Vignettes 101

Photo Credits 107

Acknowledgments 109

Index 110

Reading Group Guide

Dear Teacher,

As educators, we expect that our students will be excited by and eager to engage with new technology. New tablet computers, new smartphone apps, and new video production software are all sure to meet with unbridled enthusiasm. But "old stuff"?

Will vintage and antique objects, used and forgotten items, get the same response?

Yes! With the classroom activities and templates here to accompany the enthusiasm of Kid Pickers author Mike Wolfe, it won't be long before your students are history buffs and repurposing enthusiasts.

This guide includes a Pre-reading Activity, student activity sheets, and additional classroom activity ideas.

Kid Pickers is appropriate for students in grades 2–7. It will be especially useful in conjunction with Social Studies/History units, as well as in Language Arts and Mathematics classes. With its focus on respecting and preserving history through the location and study of artifacts from other time periods, Kid Pickers will provide many opportunities to meet the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). This guide contains a number of activities that are applicable across grade levels, as well as some that are differentiated for lower and higher grade bands. The standards below for Reading, Writing, and Speaking/Listening are an example from the fi fth-grade standards; teachers may want to visit the CCSS Web site to apply their own grade-level equivalents. The subheadings and numerical references will help users easily locate the coordinating standards for specific grade levels.

English Language Arts: Reading Informational Text

RI 4.5 Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.

RI 7.5 Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem effi ciently.

English Language Arts: Writing

W 1.5 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

W 2.5 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

W 3.5 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique,

descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

W 7.5 Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through the investigation of different aspects of a topic.

English Language Arts: Speaking and Listening

SL 1.5 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led)

with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

SL 6.5 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to the task and situation.


Before you introduce Kid Pickers, build student investment in the topic by bringing in a special object that belongs to you or an antique or vintage object that you find particularly appealing. Without introducing the object as your own, invite students to speculate about one of the following three possibilities:

1. what it is (if its identity is questionable)

2. where it came from

3. why it is on your desk

When they have exhausted their imaginations, ask students to choose the three most-likely (or most interesting) answers from your brainstorming list. Then ask students to group themselves according to their favorite of the three responses. Challenge each group to come up with a backstory for the object that includes WHAT the object is, WHERE it came from, and WHY it is on your desk.

Once each group has made a presentation of its story to the class, it's your turn. Share the actual backstory of the object and introduce Kid Pickers!

Have your students develop their own Kid Picker skills/interest with these activity sheets. Pages can be photocopied for classroom use.


Which of the following Kid Picker traits do you have? Check those that are true for you and think about examples that prove you are a Kid Picker.

You're part explorer, part treasure hunter, part detective.

You dig dirt and rust.

Old things are cool again.

You're more curious than a cat.

You're good with numbers.

You like to use your imagination.

History rocks!

Now write a paragraph that supports your claim to be a Kid Picker, using specific examples from your own life.

I am definitely a Kid Picker because:


Find an old family photograph and then ask yourself a few questions.

Step One: Jot down the answers for those questions that you can answer yourself.

Step Two: Interview someone in your family who may know the answers to the remaining questions.

(If possible, record the interview in video or audio format.)

Who are the people in the photograph?

What do you know about these people?

What year was the picture taken? How do you know?

Where was it taken?

What is in the background?

Notice how the people are dressed. Does this give you any clues about them?

What do you think their lives were like back then?

A Kid Picker Is also a Detective

Being a Kid Picker is all about unlocking the mysteries of our past. Anytime you start to sort through old items and artifacts, especially family items, you are taking on the role of a detective. A detective connects with the people around him or her. A detective does his or her homework. A detective asks good questions and takes good notes. This is the first step in becoming a master Kid Picker.

Choose one old item/artifact from your family's treasures (be sure to ask permission to take it first). Next, choose one family member to interview about the item/artifact and take good notes as you ask more about this treasure.



Do you know what this item is and what it was used for?

How did it come into your family?

Do you know who first owned this item?

Do you know exactly or approximately how old it is?

Have you ever used this item?

Do you have an idea about how much it is worth? Even if the item isn't worth money, it may be worth a lot to you and your family, making its sentimental value priceless!


Picking Is not only Fun, but Green (Good for Planet Earth!)

According to Mike Wolfe, the average person throws away approximately 1,460 pounds of trash every year! Sometimes, an individual person feels helpless. But as a Kid Picker, you can and do make a difference. Here's what Mike says:

Think of yourself as a "treasure rescuer." Every time you fi nd an item that someone else no longer finds worthy or valuable, you are finding a new home for something that may have ended up in a garbage dump or been lost forever.

That is called repurposing. Now, that "old" object is considered new again!

Choose a single object that needs a new home from one of the following locations:

• Garage and Yard Sales

• Secondhand Stores (a.k.a. Thrift Stores)

• Collectors Shops

• Auctions

• Antique Stores

• Flea Markets

• Your Own House (attic or basement)

• The Wastebasket in Your Bedroom

Then, decide how it might be repurposed. Ask yourself: How would I use it in another way? Or: How would I adapt its former use to my house or my life?

Prepare a short presentation about the object for your classmates. Bring the object to class and be prepared to share:

What the object is

Where you found it

How you plan to use it

Why it deserves to be saved and repurposed


Once you've found an item, what do you do next if you want to learn more about it? Review the sources of information Mike Wolfe presents in Chapter Four. Check out this list for some great ways to find the history behind your pick.

The Library

The Internet

An Antique Store

Your Family

Other People Like Your Teacher

From the selection of objects you and your classmates have brought into class, decide which might be the best one or two sources of additional information for each item and explain why.


Speaking and Listening

1. Bring in several fun and interesting objects from your own attic or from a flea market, secondhand store, antique shop, yard sale, or auction. After watching an episode of American Pickers featuring an auction, stage a classroom auction with your students for the various items.

2. After reading Chapter 2 about bargaining, use the same items you've brought in (above) and ask students to take turns engaging in a role-playing scene. Pair students (one of the students as the seller and one of the students as the buyer) and propose that this is a day when the seller has priced the item higher than the buyer is willing to pay. Challenge teams to try to outperform other teams by having the most offer-and-response exchanges. Invite students to vote for the best bargainer and discuss the methods he or she used.

3. Using the collection of objects you've brought in (above), assign students a "Your History Rocks" writing assignment. Ask students to select one object and respond to Mike Wolfe's challenge in Chapter Three. Ask them to close their eyes and imagine the life of their chosen item in the past. Next, ask them to think of the child who played with it or the adult who used it. Then, depending on the developmental stage of the students or the CCSS standard targeted, ask them to share orally with the class or write the story.

4. If you have a secondhand store or an antique shop in your town, invite the owner to your class to discuss the business of buying and selling used items. Be sure that your students have read or heard all of Kid Pickers beforehand and have developed an intriguing list of questions they'd like to ask.

5. If your classwork has uncovered some interesting valuable historical items from students' family treasures, or if your local history museum has some items of interest to students in its collection, invite your local historian to come to discuss the items with your class. Again, be sure that students have read or heard all of Kid Pickers beforehand and have questions to share.

6. If time allows, ask students who are able to bring in a treasured family object and the family member who can speak about its origins and ownership. If you have several of these visitors, consider video recording interviews with them.


As you discuss Kid Pickers and learn more about how similar pickers are to detectives, you may want to ask students to read grade-appropriate books featuring student detectives, such as Nate the Great, Cam Jansen, Jigsaw Jones, Encyclopedia Brown, Giles Barnes, Herculeah Jones, Ruby Redfort, Sammy Keyes, Petra Andalee and Calder Pillay, Robyn Hunter, and many more.

Art and Creativity

Ask students to choose one of the objects you've brought in or, even better, an object they've picked on their own. Then, suggest that they design an entire room around that single object. What is the theme that this object inspires? Do they need additional objects of the same or similar type? What else would go well with this object? After all the students have sketched a picture of the room they would design around the object and listed the other items they'd need to complete the design, ask them to share with the class if time allows. You may also want to create a bulletin board display of the finished sketches.


1. Choose a two-week period for this activity. During the first week, ask students to dispose of trash in the classroom as they are accustomed to doing. Each afternoon, weigh the contents of the trash baskets in your classroom. Tally the total weight for the week. Now, challenge students to work to bring the total number of pounds/ounces down during a second week. Each time they are tempted to throw away an item of any type, ask them to decide whether they might repurpose it instead. If the answer is yes and the explanation is convincing, either follow through with the repurposing or, if this is not practical, dispose of it in a separate trash basket that does not get weighed. Once again, weigh the regular trash basket and determine how many pounds/ounces of trash were saved from the waste stream by repurposing.

2. Engage students in a "You Save Money" activity. After they've had the opportunity to buy or acquire a used object of their own, be sure that they know how much it costs (or whether it was free). Pair up students and challenge them to determine the cost of a similar new item using the Internet. (Or, depending on the age level of the students, help them do this as a whole group.) Then, determine the savings realized by acquiring the item used rather than buying it new.

3. Review the information about Rarity and Supply and Demand in Chapter Six, page 35. Challenge students with a series of scenarios and ask them to determine whether an item is in high or low supply and high or low demand:

There are 50 students and 25 cookies.

There are 50 cookies and 25 students.

There are 400 seats in the theater and 200 ticket holders.

There are seven new cars on the lot and only two buyers.

There are five action figures in stock and 30 kids want to buy them.

There are both 100 hot dogs and 100 pizzas for lunch in the cafeteria, but twice as many kids like pizza as hot dogs.

There are 30 parts in the school play, but 35 students want a part.

Ask older students to determine which items are the rarest and which are the most over-supplied.

4. Follow Mike's suggestion in Chapter Four to choose an item (he uses a Star Wars lunchbox as an example) and with the class, explore the many offerings currently listed on eBay. Discuss the differences in listed prices, taking into account the age and condition of the item and the amount of time it has been posted. If time allows, follow a few items through their listing terms to see the final selling prices.

Vocabulary Development: What Does that Mean? (Grades 2–4)

On page 13, Mike Wolfe explains the origin of the term "fl ea market":

If you're wondering where such a name like "fl ea market" came to be, the term actually originated from European street markets where vendors sold many secondhand goods—so many that they were thought to gather fleas!

Open a discussion on the origin of phrases, explaining that many words and phrases we use today had different meanings in the past or uncommon origins. Then, introduce students to the phrases below and their origins. Ask them, as a group, to compose a series of sentences incorporating these new phrases. Once they have done so, challenge them to use the words again to write a second set of sentences about Kid Pickers!

To be on one's high horse

Definition: To be arrogant and full of oneself

Origin: In times past, high-ranking people rode on tall horses.

To hit the nail on the head

Defi nition: To arrive at the correct conclusion

Origin: The term refers to an accurate hit with a hammer on the head of a nail.

To bend over backward

Defi nition: To try hard to please

Origin: We normally bend over forward, so bending over backward is unusual.

High on the hog

Definition: Enjoying the best of everything

Origin: This term refers to the upper parts of a pig as being the best for eating.

To hit the hay

Definition: To go to bed

Origin: This term refers to the days when a weary wanderer would sleep in a barn full of hay.

To strike it rich

Definition: To earn or have unexpected money come in

Origin: This term refers to successful oil or mineral mining.

Vocabulary Development: What Does that Mean? (Grades 5–7)

On page 13, Mike Wolfe explains the origin of the term "flea market":

If you're wondering where such a name like "flea market" came to be, the term actually originated from European street markets where vendors sold many secondhand goods—so many that they were thought to gather fleas!

Open a discussion on the origin of phrases, explaining that many words and phrases we use today had different meanings in the past or uncommon origins. Then, introduce students to the phrases below and their origins. Finally, challenge students to write a series of sentences about Kid Pickers, incorporating these new phrases.

A flash in the pan

Definition: Something that gets a lot of attention for a very short while

Origin: Gunpowder in a flintlock sometimes failed to ignite properly and only flashed briefly.

To be taken aback

Definition: To be startled or disconcerted

Origin: This is a nautical term describing a ship that has the wind blowing against her so that she cannot make any forward progress.

To drive a point home

Definition: To make sure that one's point is clearly understood and accepted

Origin: This term refers to hammering in a nail completely and accurately.

Against the grain

Definition: Different from what a person would naturally do

Origin: This term refers to wood, which cannot be properly planed against the grain.

To hit the ground running

Definition: To do something with energy and enthusiasm

Origin: This is a military term referring to a person who has jumped from a plane or other vehicle and who instantly springs into action.

To give someone a leg up

Definition: To help a person get over a problem

Origin: Originally, it meant to help a person up into the saddle by cupping one's hands for them to place one foot in as a "step."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Kid Pickers: How to Turn Junk into Treasure 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a kid's guide of how to find hidden treasures in the old stuff other people have just laying around in their houses, barns, yards, etc. it teaches kids the value of saving things from the past and reusing them in new ways
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very appropriate for children, Young folks can learn to respect others property ,when following advice in this book, great starter info for all those kid pickers out there just starting out.
61Mack More than 1 year ago
Too simplistic even for a 10 year old.