Money Smart Children (3-5)
This lesson will introduce the basic personal finance terms spend, save, invest and donate in the context of making economic decisions or choices with money. The important economic concepts of scarcity and opportunity cost, plus the concepts of philanthropy and common good, will be taught and reinforced through the discussion of Sam’s choices in Sam and the Lucky Money. Reasons why people invest and donate will also be explored. Younger students will discuss, sing and perform the song “You Can Bank on Me.”
Teacher Note: This lesson offers an activity journal for students (see Handout Five). Copy and staple or bind in some way for student use during all the lessons. If reproducing this is not appropriate or possible for each of your students, selected pages may be used independently during the unit
Students will compare two very different approaches to money—saving for a special purchase and spending money thoughtlessly without a budget, or spending plan. The students will relate this to their own views of money and broaden their understanding of having financial goals.
Students will use an economic decision-making model to help them decide where to donate money they have collected. They will evaluate what is most important to them (develop criteria for giving) and list possible alternatives for donating the money. Based on this economic decision-making process, the class will come to consensus on how to make a reasoned choice about using their money.
The purpose of this lesson is for students to work cooperatively to count the amounts of money donated thus far for their philanthropic endeavor. Younger students will recognize, sort, and group coins as well as state their face values. Older students will count by twos, fours, fives, and tens, practice estimating, and create a data table and bar graph to represent the money collected.
Students will create a simple personal budget, or spending plan, based on their projected monthly income and expenditures. They will share their budget and bank with their family. Students will also present the money the class collected to the charity of their choice (see Handout One: Decision-Making Model from Lesson Three: Making Good Money Choices).