Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Teaching Personal Finance

I am the yearbook adviser at my school, which is a job and half. It's a lot of hard work...until Spring Break. At that point the book is done and we have about a month and half to kill before distribution. To be honest, I always have high hopes of doing a newsletter or something else, but I usually just have study hall and show movies.

This year though, I'd like to do a series of lessons on finances. I mentioned this idea to a few kids and they seemed really interested. This is something that kids just don't learn in school and I wish that I had. I teach middle school, so some of the application will be far in the future, but I'd still like to give it a go. My ideas include lessons on budgeting, credit cards, savings, how to balance a checkbook, playing "Spent" online, talking about going to college and financial aid.

I don't have a curriculum for this and I'm not really willing to buy one right now. It's going to have to come out of searching the internet and my own head. And hopefully yours. I'd love suggestions on topics to cover, lesson ideas, resources, ANYTHING would help me out. Once I have it planned, I'll report back on how it goes. I think it will be really interesting to teach, and of course I'll blog about it. :)


  1. I use a program called 'The Real Game' which might be Canadian based. It focuses on money and career. www.realgame.ca I actually had one of my students facebook me last night. I taught her 10 years ago and she is getting ready to do some student teaching and remembered how much fun this was to do with me.

    I had reps from a bank in last week who talked about different forms of money, debt and budgeting. Perhaps you could try that avenue?

    Here is a link I orginally got from J Money at Budgets are sexy, on Sammy the Saver. http://itsahabit.com/sammy.html

    Here is a link from Gail Vaz - oxlade with online resources.


    Here is another link from Gail. Scroll down to find the part about students.


  2. When I was doing my grad school internship I did a whole unit on personal finance basics for one of the classes I taught. Unfortunately, I don't still have the materials, but the unit we designed was basically just that the kids picked a career, we figured out their after-tax monthly income, and they had to find an apartment, a car, make a grocery budget, etc. It would be pretty easy to make up a few worksheets and have them work on one piece of the project every day.

    Let me thing some more about it....I might be able to reconstruct the whole thing from memory...

  3. I think that's a great idea to give the students some personal finance lessons. Your topic ideas for this, seem to cover all the bases.

  4. If you want a quick start, check out ING's website for kids, Orange Planet:


    I've downloaded all the lesson plans - they are available in PDFs - and am planning to use them with a special needs student next month. Can't say how well they work YET!

    While I've browsed through them, they aren't thorough lessons but it would be a good foundation to jump off of.