Comparing Attitudes about Money

Grades: 
K, 1, 2

Compare two very different approaches to money: saving for a special purchase and spending it thoughtlessly. Two picture books illustrate different views of money.

Duration 
PrintOne 45-Minute Class Session
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • identify different ways to treat money and consider their own goals.
Materials 
  • Alexander Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday by Judith Viorst (see Bibliography)
  • A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams (see Bibliography)
Bibliography 
  • Viorst, Judith. Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday. New York: Atheneum, 1978. ISBN: 0689711999
  • Williams, Vera B. A Chair for My Mother. Hong Kong: South China Printing Company, 1982. ISBN: 068804074

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Take a poll about whether the children own a piggy bank. Discuss their personal practices of earning, saving, and spending. Do they take money out of their banks for spending or do they save it? Talk about ways they get money for their banks. Today we will compare two stories about children and their money.

  2. Read Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday by Judith Viorst. Discuss:

    1. What does Alexander want to save his money for?
    2. Why can't he save? Has anything like this ever happened to you?
    3. What advice do you have for Alexander? 

    Note: This Learning to Give literature guide has questions and activities to go along with this book. 

  3. Set listening purpose before reading aloud A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams. This is a story about a girl who, together with her mother and grandmother, saved change to buy a special chair. Tell them that in the story they have a jar like ours. Listen for how they collect the money and why it is so important to them. 

  4. After reading, discuss: 

    1. What does the family want to save money for? Why is it important?
    2. Why helps them save? Have you ever been driven to do something hard because it is important?
    3. What advice do you think you learned from this story? 
    4. Is there anything that important in our community we can save for?

    Note: This Learning to Give literature guide has questions and activities to go along with this book. 

  5. Compare A Chair for My Mother and Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday.

    1. How are the characters alike/different?
    2. How can we use planning and purpose to meet our goals with money?
    3. What do you think is the right balance of spend, save, and donate?
  6. Have children fold a paper in half and half again. When they open it, the paper shows four equal parts. Tell them to draw ways they want to spend their money as a plan. They may spend all of it on toys and food (and draw those items in all four quadrants), or they may plan to save half for a special item, or one quadrant for donations or gifts. 

  7. Count the money in the jar the children are using to collect money together. Talk about how they want to spend the money to address a need in the community. Remind them to bring more coins if possible for the planned donation.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 05. Role of Foundations
      1. Benchmark E.4 Describe the concept of saving for the future.
    2. Standard DP 06. Role of Family in Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.2 Identify examples of families supporting giving and sharing.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate listening skills.