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Teaching personal financial literacy to elementary students

             I’ll be honest…when I first read about Personal Financial Literacy being added to our state’s standards I was puzzled. I mean, really? The government wants us to teach about being financially responsible?!?! The irony is not lost on me.
            However, after I read through the standards, I realized that they were pretty reasonable. The standards in Texas require us to teach about savings, borrowing, lending, and making deposits and withdrawals. The problem is how to fit them into our already busy schedule.
            After a lot of thought, I thought that these standards would serve as a much needed review of money and basic math operations.

We began our Personal Financial Literacy with a basic money review…

   We then moved on to discussing saving and spending. We used coins to do this (continuous money review). We crossed out what was spent and circled what was saved.

We used charts and looked for patterns when calculating savings over time.

We made a foldable picture to serve as a reminder of the difference between a deposit and withdrawal.

We solved word problems involving deposits and withdrawals.

          One of the most interesting class conversations we had during this unit was over lending money. Things we discussed were:
  • ·        What things have you let people borrow?
  • ·        Why would you let people borrow those things? Why not?
  • ·        What makes a person a good borrower?
  • ·        What makes a person a bad borrower?
  • ·        Why do you think a bank would consider a person a good borrower?
  • ·        Why do you think a bank would consider a person a bad borrower?

The FREEBIE below is a great way to begin your Personal Financial Literacy unit! I hope that you can use it in your classroom.

The complete Personal Finance Unit – No Prep can be found below.

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