September doesn’t just mean welcoming new students to the classroom; it is also time to finalize lesson plans for the year ahead. Below are a few tips to keep in mind when building financial literacy lesson plans for your students this school year.
Start with the Fundamentals
By making assumptions about students’ mastery of financial literacy concepts, even for those farther along in their school careers, you run the risk of leaving some students behind. When planning, it is important to begin with the fundamentals of personal finance. By asking simple, conceptual questions like ‘what is currency?’ or ‘what does it mean to be financially literate?’ you can create an inclusive environment for students at all levels of mastery of the content, as well as establish a framework from which to work in the year ahead.
Meet Students Where They Are
To begin – it is important to first assess what your students already know, any misconceptions they may have and the areas in which they feel most confident. Many students began financial literacy education late, or have never had a formal lesson at all. By assessing the classroom during the first days and weeks of the school year, you can modify and optimize your lessons to have the greatest impact on the students you will be working with every day for the next nine months.
Successful lessons engage students using a variety of media. Before school is back in session, gather videos, quizzes, lesson plans and real-life case studies that illustrate best practices in money management, budgeting, and financial planning.
Assessment and Key Learnings
Financial literacy lessons like all subjects, particularly those based in mathematical concepts, build on each other. When planning lessons it is important to build in ample time for review and frequent assessments, be it short quizzes, end-of-unit tests or presentations and group projects. At the end of each lesson, return to the fundamentals you began with. This will show how the concepts build throughout the year.
The Resources for Teachers tab on the Pathway to Financial Success website will help you bring crucial financial education knowledge to your class room.