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Eight Activities for Financial Literacy in the Classroom 

April is Financial Literacy Awareness Month, which provides educators around the country with a reminder to teach their students how to track, evaluate and utilize financial information to manage and improve their lives.

Many younger students may not need financial literacy currently but it's essential for them to develop financial literacy as they get older. 

What is financial literacy?

Financial literacy, according to Investopedia, is "the ability to use knowledge and skills to make effective and informed money management decisions," such as saving, spending, writing a check, planning, management, and more. Teaching financial literacy in the classroom helps students learn the value of money, how to set up a savings account, how to create a personal budget, and more. 

Education World has curated a list of eight lesson ideas, games, books, videos and activities for teachers to use when educating students on financial literacy. 

  1. Arthur's Pet Business by Marc Brown: In this book, Amazon says, "Arthur starts his own petsitting business to show Mom and Dad that he can be responsible! But between a boa constrictor, an ant farm, and a group of frogs, he's got his hands full! Can Arthur still prove he can handle a dog of his own?" Teachers can read this book to students so they can learn what it is like to start their own business and be young entrepreneurs. 
  2. A Day at Dollar General: In this game, students can follow a young boy and his parents as they learn how to budget, plan a shopping list, spend wisely, and manage money. Students can click on each category and then follow the young boy and his mother making the right choices. Students can also participate in activities and choose which food items have the best bargain. 
  3. Money As You Grow: This is less of an activity, but more of a resource for students of all age levels to turn to. Money As You Grow offers tips for kids of all ages, and suggested activities for parents to participate with their children.
  4. The Coin Counting Book by Rozanne Lanczak Williams: With this book, students can, Amazon says, "change just adds up with this bankable book illustrated with real money. Counting, adding, and identifying American currency from one penny to one dollar is exciting and easy. When you have counted all your money, you can decide to save it or spend it."
  5. Secret Millionaires Club: In this animated series, students can follow a group of entrepreneurial kids mentored by Warren Buffet as they take on adventures involving financial and business problems. Students can watch the series starting with the first episode, where the group tries to find the best business location to sell lemonade. Other episodes include learning about advertising, the benefits of saving money, making an effective plan, and more. 
  6. Wonderful Wallets: In this activity provided by Once Upon a First Grade Adventure, students can learn about coins and their values, and then make their own wallets with construction paper. Students can buy pretend items with their fake money, and learn how to spend money effectively. 
  7. The Great Piggy Bank Adventure: This game provided by Disney gives students the opportunity to learn financial tips, how to set goals, spend wisely, as well as other key words including inflation, diversification, asset allocation, and more. Players choose their own player, roll the dice, and can answer financial questions, complete activities, and more to advance in the game. 
  8. Writing Checks for Kids: With this blank template provided by Activities for Kids, students can learn how to write their own personalized checks. The website allows teachers to customize their own check books with student names and classroom number, making students feel as if it is more personal than generic checks. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor


Updated: 04/06/2015