Money Smart Teens (6-8)
Introduce the basic concepts of spending, saving, donating, and investing, with emphasis on the concept of philanthropy. Students use an economic decision-making model and create personal budgets. They also investigate budgets of nonprofit/civil society organizations and participate in an act of philanthropy as a class by presenting funds they have raised to a nonprofit. Students learn about scarcity, the role of opportunity cost in decision-making, and the power of incentives in behavior.
This lesson teaches and reinforces the “economic way of thinking” along with the personal finance terms: 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 lesson. Incentives relating to why people spend, save, invest and donate are also be explored.
Students will broaden their understanding of setting personal and financial goals, and positive and negative incentives related to financial decisions, especially investing and donating. They will determine how goal setting influences economic decision-making.
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.
Students learn economics and philanthropy vocabulary by playing an interactive game, Philanthropy EconAround Bingo. Students will use an economic decision-making model to 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. They will learn the basics of how nonprofit/civil society organizations are operated and simulate operating one by planning a budget.
Philanthropy EconoAround Bingo is an optional activity usually requiring 30-45 minutes the first time it is played. It is to teach or reinforcement basic economics and philanthropy vocabulary. It can be played periodically to reinforce vocabulary and requires much less time in succeeding playing sessions.
Students will create a personal spending plan, based on realistic projected monthly income and expenses. Students will also present the money the class collected to the charity of their choice.