by Brent Renneke
H&R Block Dollars & Sense partnered with WeAreTeachers to collect the nation’s best personal finance lesson plans. Teachers who authored the winning lesson plans split $5,000 in grants to further their personal finance curriculum. Chosen by teachers and Dollars & Sense staffers, below are all 14 lesson plans tabbed as finalists, including the selected top three.
Keyona Nwaolu: “The End & The Beginning!”
Students will create a portfolio reflecting their life after high school graduation, including getting a job, a place to live, a vehicle, insurance, investing and creating a budget.
Ruth Gale-Paredez: “What education do you need to live comfortably?”
Fifth grade students figure out how much it costs to live for a family of four. Survey is taken for all expenses including taxes and insurance and an amount of income is calculated. Then a career is chosen to meet their needs and wants.
Diana Shay Diehl: “California Grizzly Bank (Student Checkbooks)”
Students learn to keep a checkbook balance by adding money earned for various activities and subtracting ‘fines’. They also have opportunities to “purchase” items and participate in auctions with their earned balance.
Remaining finalists (In no particular order)
Anthony Dezio: “Road Trip.”
Students will create a custom itinerary for a road trip across the country, calculating driving distances and costs for gas, hotels, admission tickets and food. Students will also use conversion factors to convert costs into daily rates.
Lisa Jahnke: “Reality Store.”
The Reality Store is designed to give students a glimpse of what it is like to live and work in the real world. Students will be researching a career for several weeks. They will use that career and the income to go through a month’s expenses.
Michelle Rosencrans: “Economics in Real Life.”
Students become fully engaged in this project that not only covers CCSS in math, social studies, reading, writing, listening and speaking, but also gives students an opportunity to experience real life responsibilities that they will face as adults.
Katrina Walker: “C R E D I T, That spells Credit Project.”
Students select the materials (project form) that they want. Options would include: computers (Prezi, PowerPoint, Film), musical instruments (Rap, Song), paper (Cartoon, Poem, Story) or other students to help with a Play.
Students learn how to budget in the Smart Phone era. Using an for both desktop computers and tablets, students input their daily spending into categories. The app also creates a visual chart and breakdown.
D’Annette Mullen: “Dollars and Sense: Understanding our Money”
Students will learn the purpose of checking accounts and how to use them and keep track of debits and credits. They will also be able to write checks at the lesson’s conclusion.
Minerva Santerre: “FEED- Future Entrepreneurs in Every Direction.”
This project allows elementary middles and high school students to collaborate and mentor one another as they strive to make recycled products and hold a FEED market Day. The money made from FEED Day the goes to a specific organization to help.
Danielle Stephens: “Online Shopping.”
The students will have a determined amount of money to use for online shopping.
Stacey Mulhall: “CU 4 Reality Curriculum and Financial Literacy Fair.”
This is a free project sponsored by the Service Credit Union. Activity allows students to choose a career, understand monthly income and plan a budget through the Financial Literacy Fair.
Pam Pleas: “Can I live on what I’ll make?”
This lesson/unit ties career research to wages, taxes, and a personal budget plan to determine how students will live on a starting salary in a career of interest to them.
One teacher breaks down her expenses and income to provide eye-opening discussion and clarity into budgeting.
14 Lesson Plans For Teaching Financial Literacy