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3 Resources for Fun and Effective Lessons to Teach Taxes

While tax time can be a trying experience for adults, it can also be a prime learning opportunity for students to understand how taxes work and why we pay them.

By taking an approach to teaching taxes that is enjoyable and stress free, when kids grow up to manage their own taxes, they won't carry negative preconceptions they may have been inadvertently taught by their elders.

The following resources from the IRS, Econ Ed and Scholastic have access to tons of lessons and activities for teaching kids about tax season. They'll learn about why we pay taxes, their importance and significance in society, as well as a brief history of taxes in our nation. “Understanding Taxes”

The Internal Revenue Service offers a website dedicated to educational content on understanding your taxes.

“For Educators, every Understanding Taxes lesson includes the correlations to national and state educational standards,” states. “Each lesson plan includes a link to the applicable national and state standards, making it simple to integrate Understanding Taxes into your existing classroom curricula.”

The site for teachers includes a custom resource list, as well as a number of lesson plans on the hows and whys of taxes, being a taxpayer, and tax history. Another site is dedicated specifically for students, and includes activities, tax tutorials and simulations.


Econ Ed Link “Tic Tac Taxes”

This lesson plan from will assist students in identifying various taxes and the services they help governments provide. It pulls it’s resources from to discuss the economics of taxation, and for tax history.

It also incorporates a tic-tac-toe game to test students knowledge of taxes. The activity sheet asks: “what are the main goods and services of each level of government provides to its citizens?” and “where do governments get the money to pay for all these goods and services?”


Scholastic: Teaching Taxes on April 15

This resource walks teachers through the essentials of teaching taxes on tax day, from simple explanations to what taxes are and the significance of April 15. Some printable activities include solving a maze, looking up tax vocabulary and filling out a crossword puzzle.

Lesson plans are broken down between grades 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. For grades 3-5, running a classroom economy plan is a great way for students to learn about credits, debits and banking. Students can perform classroom jobs to early daily salaries, budget and save money, and study economic trends.


Compiled by Samantha DiMauro, Education World Contributor