Tired of hearing, “When are we ever going to use this in real life?” Consider incorporating some financial literacy activities into your lesson plans. Not only will students see the immediate relevance to the real world, they’ll also practice Common Core benchmarks in math, reading, and writing.
Below are 15 of our favorite ways to address money management in the classroom:
Income and careers
- Use sample paystubs to compare gross vs. take-home pay. Discuss the various taxes and deductions.
- Research salaries for different careers and discuss what the money will buy in your area.
- Talk about the pros and cons of going to college (e.g. higher salary with a degree but the potential for student loans).
Planning and money management
- Discuss what it means to budget. Challenge students to identify key spending and savings categories.
- Invite students to identify short-term and long-term savings goals to develop a plan for meeting both.
- Discuss the role of charitable giving in money management and ask students to research causes important to them.
Credit and debit
- Explore creditworthiness by having students list desired qualities in a person borrowing personal items from them.
- Analyze a sample credit report and discuss what the various point deductions mean.
- Have students list what they think they know about credit cards and then research what’s true and what’s false.
Saving and investing
- Talk about the differences between short- and long-term goals and research potential savings vehicles for each.
- Compare interest rates: How much will you have in five years in different vehicles if you begin with the same amount?
- Challenge students to test their saving and investing knowledge by playing free interactive finance games at GeniRevolution.
Risk management and insurance
- Have groups research an insurance term and perform a skit explaining its meaning.
- Compare different health insurance policies and challenges students to identify the best policy for them.
- have students write insurance policies for an object or an activity they love.
Want more ideas? Here are a few schools nailing financial literacy education.