Financial Literacy Month Activities You Can Take to the Bank
The Classroom

Financial Literacy Month Activities You Can Take to the Bank

Newsela Editorial
Mar 25, 2024

Did you know that 25 states now require students to complete a personal finance course before they graduate from high school? First recognized in April 2004, National Financial Literacy Month isn’t just a reminder to help students finish their graduation requirements. It’s also the perfect time for people of all ages to get proactive about understanding how to manage their finances. To help you teach about money management, we’ve curated a set of Financial Literacy Month activities for students of all ages to keep them engaged and curious throughout each lesson:

Build background knowledge on finance

How much do your students know about the role of money in business, government, and the economy as a whole? Financial Literacy Month is a great opportunity to build background knowledge on how organizations manage money and how currency flows around the world. With activities on Newsela ELA, you can teach students:

  • How to create a business budget with an introduction to business math

  • What types of currency people have used to pay for goods and services throughout the years and around the world, from flowers to bitcoin.

  • How banks work and why we use them to guard our money.

  • What investments are and the risks that come with investing money in different ways.

  • What types of careers you can have if you’re interested in finance, from bookkeeping to accounting and banking.

Dig into how finance affects our daily lives

It’s one thing to learn what finance is. It’s another to get students to understand how money and finances affect their lives. With Newsela Social Studies activities, you can help students explore the role of finance in economics and and their personal lives:

Explore economics and financial literacy

How do economics and finance go together? Understanding the way money works in our economy is critical for understanding why personal finance is so important. With Newsela Social Studies, you can use a financial literacy unit designed specifically for eighth graders to make these connections clear. Or, take the ideas in the unit and make them your own!

Short-term financial literacy

Help students understand the importance of taking care of their finances on a daily basis with topics that touch their personal finances, like:

Long-term financial literacy

Once students understand how to take care of their daily finances, they can start to set long-term financial goals, like:

Financial literacy practice and assessment tools

To help you understand what your students have learned throughout the lesson and to encourage them to put some of their new financial knowledge to work, give a summative assessment. Have students create a budget and assess how they can plan for both short- and long-term financial goals. To help keep financial literacy key terms top of mind, use the flashcards and matching sets powered by Formative as a review tool.

Help students prepare to track their personal finances

Businesses and the government aren’t the only organizations that care about finances. Anyone who earns, inherits, or uses money has to find ways to manage it. Help students discover the types of financial situations they may encounter in their lives, and how they can spend and save smart:

  • Teach about how personal property taxes work and what they mean for home and land owners.

  • Explore how stocks and the stock market work and the risks and benefits of investing your money.

  • Discover what counterfeiting is and why technology has made it easier for criminals to do.

  • Debate whether businesses, and even entire cities, going cashless in favor of plastic, digital pay, or bitcoin, is a good move for the economy.

  • Uncover if playing and winning the lottery is really worth the payout if you win.

Teach financial literacy by grade band

No student is too young (or too old!) to learn financial literacy skills. With Newsela’s SEL Collection, an add-on to our other products, you can develop age-appropriate activities to get students thinking about ways to handle the money they receive or earn, and what it can mean for their futures.

Financial literacy for elementary students

Elementary students can build financial literacy by learning about what money is and how building responsible spending and saving habits can help prepare them to achieve their dreams, like traveling, starting a business, or buying the things they want and need. For this grade band, try activities like:

Financial literacy for middle school students

Middle school students may have a better understanding of how money and the economy work than their elementary school counterparts. But do they know what to do with it? For this grade band, explore activities like:

Financial literacy for high school students

High school students may care the most about money out of any grade band. Whether they’re getting an allowance, babysitting on weekends, or working their first part-time jobs, they have financial responsibilities. For the grade band, introduce activities like:

Invest in your students with Newsela

For teachers, we know one of your greatest investments is in your students’ growth and learning. With Newsela’s daily instruction and assessment products, you can feel confident that you’re preparing them for a bright future during Financial Literacy Month and beyond. 

Not a Newsela customer yet? You can sign up for Newsela Lite to try our premium differentiated content, engaging formative assessments, and real-time data. Plus, with your Newsela Lite membership, you can sign up for a free trial of our premium products today!

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