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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Financial Literacy Activities for the Classroom

What is Financial Literacy?

Note: This blog post contains products from our Teachers Pay Teachers store and Amazon Affiliate store.

Financial literacy is the ability to understand how money works in the world: how someone manages to earn or make it, how that person manages it, how he/she invests it (turn it into more) and how that person donates it to help others.

Please watch this video, then scroll down for teaching ideas, activities, games and lessons for teaching 5th grade, 6th grade, middle school, high school and special education students financial literacy concepts.

Financial Literacy: Mellody Hobson at TEDxMidwest

In a 2014 survey, three main questions were asked of respondents:

1. Suppose you had $100 in a savings account and the interest rate was 2 percent per year. After 5 years, how much do you think you would have in the account if you left the money to grow?

More than $102; Exactly $102; Less than $102; Do not know; Refuse to answer.

2. Imagine that the interest rate on your savings account was 1 percent per year and inflation was 2 percent per year. After 1 year, how much would you be able to buy with the money in this account?

More than today; Exactly the same; Less than today; Do not know; Refuse to answer.

3. Please tell me whether this statement is true or false. “Buying a single company’s stock usually provides a safer return than a stock mutual fund.”

True; False; Do not know; Refuse to answer.

In the United States, 38 percent of men answered all three questions correctly compared with only 22 percent of women.

In the Netherlands, 55 percent of men and 35 percent of women got all three right, and in Germany the results were 60 percent for men and 48 percent for women.

In a 2016 Survey of the States, there were several key findings regarding financial literacy:

Since 2014, two additional states include personal finance in their K-12 standards and require those standards to be taught.

While more states are implementing standards in personal finance, the number of states that require high school students to take a course in personal finance remains unchanged since 2014 – just 17 states. 

Only 20 states require high school students to take a course in economics – that’s less than half the country and two fewer states than in 2014. 

There has been no change in the number of states that require standardized testing of economic concepts – the number remains at 16.

Financial literacy should begin in middle school and high school, not in college or even after college!

Here is a free teaching resource to help you assess your students' basic understanding of financial literacy concepts.

 Financial Literacy Vocabulary Activities

Click HERE for free financial literacy task cards for kids.


Here are 7 financial skills recommended for high school:

Here are more printable teaching resources on TpT:

 Financial Literacy Crossword Puzzle

Click HERE to download this financial literacy crossword puzzle.

 Financial Literacy Activities

This bundle will save you money! (no pun intended!)

Click HERE for more resources from Edutopia.


You may also like these resources from our Amazon affiliate store:

(from the video above)

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• Includes a series of tips that summarize the important lessons from the book


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Shelly Anton is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to ** This means there are Amazon affiliate links in these blog posts. This does not mean you pay a dime more when you purchase a product through the link. It just means I am trying to save you valuable teacher time by making it easier for you to find valuable resources for your students, and I earn a few cents for my research and time. Thank you for all you do for kids!