Money and Credit: Making Good Decisions (9-12)
Students crate a personal spending plan and learn the concepts of spend, save, invest, and donate. They investigate the uses and misuses of credit, including understanding of scarcity and opportunity cost in decision making. Students choose a service learning project to promote financial literacy and responsible use of credit amongst peers.
This lesson teaches and reinforces the "economic way of thinking" along with the personal finance concepts: spend, save, invest and donate - in the context of making economic decisions or choices with money. The concepts of philanthropy and contributing to the common good, are integrated into the financial literacy contents of goal setting (short & long-term), spending plans (budgets), interest (simple and compound), and an introduction to the uses and abuses of credit, including "impulse spending” and “buyer’s remorse."
Teacher Note: This unit is designed for use with Money Smart Choices: Financial Literacy and Philanthropy, www.moneysmartchoices.org, an interactive web site created through a partnership between the National Endowment for Financial Education and The LEAGUE/Learning to Give. The unit can be used effectively even if Internet access is not available to students. All of the content of the web site is provided in the lesson’s Instructional Procedures or Handouts.
Adapt this lesson, and all lessons in this unit, as needed for student level. Specific activities can be omitted or enhanced to meet learner needs.
The purpose of this lesson is to introduce middle school learners to the complex economic world of responsible credit use, including installment credit and credit cards. The learners will identify the uses as well as the abuses of various forms of credit, including installment loans and credit cards. They will explore ways to effectively use credit cards so that they will be better able to spend, save, invest, and donate to meet their needs and wants.
Students will determine how they can be most effective in sharing their newly acquired financial expertise, and will be mentored and guided as they propose, plan, problem solve, and implement a service project that address promoting financial literacy and responsible use of credit amongst peers and/or in the local community. They will recall what they have learned with the goal of determining how, and with whom to share the information. Students will decide which proposed project(s) to implement using an economic decision-making model.
Teacher Note: It is highly recommended that teachers plan to digitally photograph and/or video the planning and implementing of the service project for possible use in creating the final demonstration in Lesson Four: Telling Our Story. Students, family members, community volunteers, and/or partnering organizations can be asked to help with the visual documentation of this project.
Students will reflect on their service project, and its impact on them and the community. They will determine the best presentation method(s) to use (may include presentation software, poster, rap, video, skit, podcast, etc.) in creating a class presentation that demonstrates the project's learning and impact. The class will collaboratively create the presentation.