360 Degree Financial Literacy

Understand personal finances through every stage of life.

A Financial Checklist for College

How to manage finances responsibly after high school graduation.

Consumer Jungle

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Family Education: Money and Kids

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US News: 5 Tips on How to Be Financial Role Models

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The Money Talk Quiz

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At Home Activities

These lesson plans, designed for teachers and created by WeAreTeachers and Pathway to Financial Success, have activities that you can do at home with your child to reinforce important financial education concepts.

Students will understand the differences between wants and needs, and begin to associate the two concepts with money and spending.

  1. Send home blank printable backpack templates and ask students to pretend they are now traveling with their families to the new planet and can bring a total of ten items. How would their packing list change?
  2. Invite students to work with their families to write their own personal definitions of wants and needs.
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Students will learn how to set short- and long-term financial goals.

  1. Send home copies of this goal-planning worksheet and have students work with their family members to set some personal short-term and long-term goals.
  2. Invite students to share their personal goals with the class.
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The students will read about different careers, make career connections to their own life, and begin to articulate what careers interest them.

  1. Invite parents to participate in a virtual career day by asking them to post a short description of their job and what they like about it on a class blog. Alternatively, have parents fill out a paper template that asks for the same information and compile the templates into a book for your classroom library.
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Students will learn the definitions of payment options, explore the differences and similarities of each, and learn how to write a proper check.

  1. Ask families to share recent examples of purchased items, the payment options used, and the reason why they chose that particular option. Have students share one of their family examples with the class.
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Students will explore the concept of savings, and learn about three different places to save money: banks, credit unions, and at home.

  1. Encourage families to take students to a branch of their local bank, explaining the steps of the visit and the reason for going. Have students write a short paragraph about their visit to share with the class.
  2. Alternatively, have students work with their families to research the interest rates for savings accounts at three local or online banks and share the results with the class.
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Students will learn how to make smart spending decisions by conducting research and understanding opportunity cost and scarcity.

  1. Invite students to interview a friend or family member about a time they researched a spending decision. What item were they buying? Where did they do research? What decision did they make and are they happy with the decision?
  2. Have students write up the results of their interviews to share with the class.
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Students will learn the concept of financial record keeping by tracking income and expenses, and building a simple budget.

  1. Invite students to share their “money memoirs” with their families. Do their family members have any advice or suggestions to share?
  2. Have students write about any money habits they want to form or change after their conversations with their families.
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Students will identify careers that align with their passions, and research and reflect on volunteering and internships as a tool to gain valuable career experiences.

  1. Challenge students to interview a friend or family member who is currently an intern or has been one in the past. Students should ask about the intern’s experiences as well as how the intern balanced his or her various commitments.
  2. Have students use the information they gathered in their interviews to create presentations on “surviving your internship,” featuring time management tricks and other tips on how to succeed.
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Students will research and identify the power of interest and rate of return.

  1. Challenge students to explain interest and rate of return to their families. Next, have students
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Students will learn about credit and debt, and identify the purposes of a credit history.

  1. Have students share their comic strips with their families. Next, invite them to work with their family members to create a list of pros and cons of using credit cards in particular.
  2. Have students share their pros and cons with the class. Compile students’ answers into a class list and discuss the results.
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In this lesson, students will come to understand the basic components of a budget.

  1. Have students share the budgets they created with their families. Do family members have any advice or suggestions? Are students missing any categories? Have students revised their budgets based on family suggestions.
  2. Also have students ask family members for a budgeting tip or secret. Compile the tips into a class book or blog according to category (e.g., food, entertainment, transportation).
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In this lesson, students will discover the parts of a paystub and how take-home pay is calculated.

  1. Have students bring home a sample paystub and explain the various deductions to their family members. Encourage students to talk with their family members about the differences between gross and net pay. What does it mean for real-life financial planning and budgeting?
  2. You might ask parents or guardians to share an actual paystub with their children and to discuss the various deductions. Alternatively, parents can discuss their gross and net pay in terms of percentages (e.g., “My net pay is 60% of my gross after 20% to federal and state taxes, 10% to Social Security and Medicare, and 10% to retirement.”)
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In this lesson, students will understand concepts associated with credit and becoming a smart credit consumer.

  1. Invite students to talk with their families about credit guidelines for their own lives. What do students and their parents or guardians believe is the right age for getting a first credit card? When is it a good idea to use a credit card, and when is it not? Should a young person just have one credit card, or is it ever a good idea to open several different lines of credit?
  2. Have students summarize their conversations with their families in a short paragraph to share with the class.
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In this lesson, students will research the cost of college and analyze different ways of paying for higher education.

  1. Ask students to share the college reflections they completed in class with their families. What advice or input do their families have to offer? Invite students to revise their reflections based on their conversations and their family’s ideas about paying for college.
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Students will explore career options and research different directions they can pursue after high school.

  1. Invite students to interview a family member about his or her profession and career path. How did the family member choose the job? What kind of training and education was involved? Would the family member recommend the job? Why or why not?
  2. Have students write up their family interviews. Compile them into a class book to use as a further resource for career exploration.
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Students will explore how to plan for their financial futures through different investment and savings vehicles.

  1. Invite students to talk with family members about their strategies for saving for the future. What are some of their long-term goals? How do they plan to get there?
  2. Ask students to summarize their conversations in a one or two sentence “family philosophy” about saving for the future. These family philosophies shouldn’t detail specific savings vehicles, but rather attitudes and/or goals. For example: a. The Garcia family’s goal is to enjoy now, enjoy later. That’s why we save for the future but also have “fun money” for now b. My family’s biggest priority is travel, so that’s where we save extra money.
  3. Have students share their family philosophies with the class.
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Students will identify common scenarios in which people take out loans and understand the positive and negative ramifications of borrowing money.

  1. Invite students to share their plans for Jenna Levine with their families. Do their family members have any other loan advice to offer? Have students incorporate their family members’ suggestions into their work.
  2. Encourage students to have an honest conversation with their parents about paying for college. How will students cover the cost of tuition, books, and living expenses? Will students need to take out loans? Invite students to make a table with their family members showing some of their college choices, the cost of tuition at each school, and the availability of loans and/or scholarships at each institution.
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Students will research different insurance options and learn how to manage risk.

  1. Invite students to talk with their family members about auto insurance policies in particular. First, what are the auto insurance laws in your state? If family members have an auto insurance policy, are they happy with it? Why or why not? If they aren’t happy with their current policies, challenge students to find a new policy with better terms for the family.
  2. If family members are happy with their current policies, invite students to research the costs of adding a teen driver and discuss what they find with their family. Why does it cost more to add a teen rather than an adult driver?
  3. If students’ families do not have a car and/or auto insurance, you might switch the focus to health insurance.
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Students will explore consumer protection laws and understand the risk of identity theft.

  1. Have students ask friends and family members if they have ever been victims of identity theft. For example, have they ever had a fraudulent charge on a credit card or had their email or social media accounts hacked?
  2. Invite students to write about what happened and what the family member did to correct the action, and then share the story or stories with the class.
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Students will explore how the stock market works and analyze different stock investments.

  1. Have students ask friends and family members if they have ever been victims of identity theft. For example, have they ever had a fraudulent charge on a credit card or had their email or social media accounts hacked?
  2. Invite students to write about what happened and what the family member did to correct the action, and then share the story or stories with the class.
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