While not all kids “like” math, what kid isn’t interested in money? And what better time to talk about money than after the holidays where you likely spent a lot, and hopefully received some, too!
For students with enrichment needs, making math more meaningful and relevant will enhance their interest and engagement with the subject. It also provides teachers with some easy real-world extensions to the curriculum.
So what does it mean to be financially literate? It means you can
- Understand how banks work and the different types of bank accounts
- Understand basic financial concepts like wants vs. needs, saving, investing, borrowing and compound interest
- Understand financial products like bank cards, credit cards, mortgages and insurance.
- Feel comfortable discussing money with family members and feel confident in your ability to make financial decisions
- Are able to plan for your financial future!
Why Financial Literacy?
The reasons for teaching financial literacy are limitless! In the world of “tap-pay” debit, students aren’t even aware of what they are spending? Do students even know how much things cost today? Do they know how much post-secondary school costs How long will it take them, working a minimum wage job to pay for 1-year of post-secondary school? What salaries they can expect when graduating?
Just as important as spending habits, saving and investing are equally important topics. Personal debt is increasing in Canada and is a leading cause of adult suicide. Worse, students think debt is inevitable – a normal part of life. However, much can be done to alleviate this problem by making money a topic of conversation in your classroom. Fortunately, there are many resources to help you get started!
Return on Investment (ROI) – More than just a financial concept
This is one of the most important financial literacy concepts as it relates to all aspects of life. In simple terms it calculates what is the payback for an action. What value does this action provide?
In financial terms, the return on investment (ROI) is a calculation used in business used to determine whether a proposed investment is wise, and how well it will repay the investor. We can also use ROI to evaluate our purchases. This can be harder to do.
- For example, what is a better use of our money: a $2 toy from the dollar store, or $15 binder for organizing your school work? A new car or a used car? These are not simple, straightforward calculations and have many variables, like how long you plan to keep them for.
- Here’s a tough one: 4 years of university versus 4 years of working? Short-term pain, long-term gain? Or vice versa?
In life, we can look at ROI to determine how well our time is spent. For example, what is the ROI on a walk outside on our mental health? What do we spend a lot of time doing, but don’t get much out of? Or worse, comes with an emotional cost? As you can see, this becomes a philosophical question and way of evaluating our life choices.
- Try thinking about this concept in your classroom: which actions have the greatest payoff, and which actions come at a cost?
After discussing this concept with your class, ask them the following questions:
- What is something that comes at a high cost but has a high payoff?
E.g., university? A well-used gym membership? A house? A family?
- What actions or purchases come with a low or negative ROI?
E.g., purchases of something you don’t use much (stuffed toys, collectibles)? Procrastinating?
CFEE – Canadian Foundation for Economic Education
CFEE is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that works collaboratively with funding partners, departments of education, school boards, schools, educators, and teacher associations to develop and provide free, non-commercial programs and resources for teachers and students – developed and reviewed by educators. Overall, CFEE’s work primarily focuses on youth but also aspires to help people of all ages be better prepared to undertake their economic roles, responsibilities, and decisions with confidence and competence.
Money and Youth
The world of money is one area where many people often feel they lack control. CFEE, in partnership with Investors Group, has produced this publication to provide youth with information that will help them to better understand the world of money, to enable them to begin to take more control over their financial future – and improve their chance of achieving success.
Table of Contents
CFEE Building Futures in Manitoba
Lesson Plans by Grade http://buildingfuturesinmanitoba.com/resources/
All about Bank Accounts
Download this document to discuss the different kinds of bank accounts with your students are send it home for students to read with their parents. What is a Youth Savings Account and who should have one? Do you have an RESP? Do you need one? These are the types of question they’ll discuss. http://bit.ly/2OmEnw0
Toronto Star – Classroom Connections
This program is designed to help you teach your students financial literacy. It comes with a Teacher Guide and a student section in both French and English! Download your copy today! https://www.classroomconnection.ca/mymoney.html
TRY THIS: (a monthly section of ready to use ideas to push thinking in your classroom)
The Money Minute & other money lessons for your class
b>Fairy Tale Values: Ask students to write a one- to two-page children’s bedtime story that would teach a young child a lesson about money.<
What’s more important—the job or the money? Discuss this question with students or ask them to write a brief opinion piece.
Keys Please? Grades 7/8: Discuss when and why it makes sense to borrow. Next, go find a car they’d like to own when they get their license. Use this car loan calculator to figure out how much they’d end of spending, and how long it would take to pay the money back. Have students share their answers. Lessons learned?
Get a job! Grade 7/8 – In groups, have students figure when they can start working, and how much minimum wage is (note: different for those under 18 than for adults). Next, research a couple of different jobs and pick one that you think is better than the rest.
- A) Calculate how many hours/year they could work during high school? How much could they earn and save by the time they graduate?
- B) Create a resume to match their “dream part-time job”. Conduct fake interviews with peers. Who would you hire and why? Discuss all the ways a person could mess up a job interview and lose the opportunity to be hired.
Stop me, please! Discuss students’ greatest spending weaknesses. When do they wish someone would just stop them—and how could they stop? What could your family do with less of?
Money in my life. Discuss the role and importance of money in our lives. What are the benefits? What are the negative aspects? What’s important to keeping a proper perspective?
Reality check. Brainstorm to come up with a list of the basic expenses necessary for a modest level of financial comfort. What minimum annual income would be needed?
“I just can’t stand…” Which ads do students find annoying and why? Which ads do they like and why? BONUS: Create an ad for your favourite product.
Tic Tac Toe – Gr. 3-5 – Download this Tic Tac Toe Math Choice Board on money calculations and decisions. <
“Who wants to be a millionaire?” Who does want to be a millionaire and why? Who doesn’t and why not? Have each student make a list of what he/she would do with a million dollar windfall and hand it in on an unsigned piece of paper. Review the lists with the class.
Jobs we love: Brainstorm all of the jobs that students can think of. Next, brainstorm different industries: E.g., medical, education, manufacturing, government, fishing, retail, foods, services, hospitality. Have students add jobs that they were missing. Then start grouping them. From best to worst? Split them into “male jobs” and female jobs”. White collar/Blue collar? Highest earning to lowest earning? Compare the different group answers. Why the difference?
Individually, have students pick their top 5-10 jobs. Pick one job and research the qualifications required to obtain each job and their average salary (try Glassdoor).How many years of school will you need? Have each student present their job to the class.
Bonus: research how much 1 year of schooling would cost. All years?
Time is Money: What do spend too much time doing when you could be more productive? Watching YouTube? Playing Fortnite? What could you be doing during that time that would be more productive? Set a goal to do 1h more work a week (or 10m/day). Bonus: negotiate with your parents to get chore money!
Savings Goal: Calculate how much money you think you get in a year (birthdays, chores, holidays). Make a goal to save half of that money. Calculate how much they’d have in 5 years. 10 years? Bonus, take into account extra money you might make as you get older!<
Spending Goal: Research 5 things you like to buy. Figure out how much they cost. Brainstorm ways in which you could earn enough money to buy one of them (NOTE: the money has to be earned).
Super Savers: There are lots of way to “earn” money by cutting back on spending. For example, cutting down on electricity bill by turning off the lights. Saving on grocery bill by cutting coupons. In groups, brainstorm other ways to reduce spending costs for your family!<
Great Givers: In groups, research local charities and pick one you like the best. Keep a jar in your classroom for each group’s charity. Set a goal donation. Calculate how much each person would have to give over the course of a year. Make a goal of something like 25 cents a week/student. See much money you raise and make it a class trip to donate the money!
Hey, that’s my money! Research what fees you pay on bank accounts. Compare the major youth accounts. Which one would you pick and why?
Tooth Fairy: Primary – How much money do you get for 1 tooth? How much could you earn from all of your baby teeth? Set a goal to save some of this money. How much should you save? Discuss as a class.
Pizza Money: Do you get pizza at school? Chocolate milk? Calculate how much money you spend on lunch orders each week? How much will you likely spend in one school year?
Big Budgets: Depending on the grade, split the class into groups. Groups can choose to pick a big budget: a family, a university student, a school, a store, a city, the Canadian Government, a store, or something else of their choosing. Have each group brainstorm their expenses. BONUS: research the actual costs. How much should they put in savings based on the size of their budget (money for a rainy day)? How much should they set aside for investments, or donations?
Financial Literacy Terms & Word Wall Words
Financial Literacy Infographics