Savvy Savers – Benefits of Interest-Bearing Accounts

Students calculate compound interest to identify benefits of saving in interest-bearing accounts. They learn the “rule of 72” and that it applies to both investments and debt. They apply the rule of 72 to several savings scenarios. They learn that there is a relationship between the level of risk for an investment and the potential reward or return on that investment.

Objectives

Students will

  • explain the difference between a non-interest-bearing account and an interest bearing account,
  • calculate interest compounded semiannually,
  • explain and demonstrate the rule of 72, and describe the risk-reward relationship.

Grade Level

Middle School – High School

Concepts

  • Compound interest
  • Interest
  • Non-interest-bearing account
  • Principal
  • Risk-reward relationship
  • Rule of 72
  • Saving

Time Required

45 minutes

 
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Your Budget Plan – Spending Behaviors

Students work in pairs to participate in a “Track Star” game that illustrates positive and negative spending behaviors. Each pair analyzes the game results, identifies effective and ineffective budgeting behaviors, and generates a list of budgeting principles.

Objectives

Students will

  • define budget, income, expenses, variable expenses, periodic expenses, and
    fixed expenses;
  • give examples of effective and ineffective budgeting behavior;
  • give examples of variable, fixed, and periodic expenses; and
  • explain why some emergency savings is important when implementing good
    budgeting

Concepts

  • Budget
  • Expenses
  • Fixed expenses
  • Income
  • Periodic expenses
  • Variable expenses

Grade Level

Middle School – High School

Time Required

45 minutes

 
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Cash the Check and Track the Dough

Students will learn about checking accounts, savings accounts, and check-cashing services. They learn the components of a check and how to organize and enter information into a bank account register, balance a monthly account statement, and write a check. They also learn why maintaining account records is important.

Concepts

  • Bank account register
  • Check Checking account
  • Check-cashing services
  • Direct deposit
  • Overdraft
  • Savings account

Objectives

Students will

  • compare checking accounts, savings accounts, and check-cashing services;
  • explain what checks, debit cards, automatic deposits, and electronic payments are and how they are used;
  • explain the importance of maintaining records of deposits to, withdrawals from, and payments from a bank account;
  • explain the importance of balancing a bank account; and
  • demonstrate filling out and balancing a bank account register.

Grade Level

Middle School – High School

Time Required

60-75 minutes

 
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W Is for Wages – W4 and W2 Forms

Students compute the gross pay for fictional John Dough given his hourly wage and the number of hours worked. They compare gross pay with net pay. They learn what FICA and federal income taxes are. They learn how to complete Form W-4 and also about Form W-2. In the assessment, students re-read the information provided on a W-4 and provide a more easily understood explanation to a friend in an e-mail.

Objectives

Students will

  • define income, taxes, and wages,
  • explain what the FICA tax is,
  • explain the difference between gross pay and net pay,
  • explain what Form W-4 is used for,
  • explain what Form W-2 is, and
  • rewrite the technical language found on a W-4 form

Grade Level

Middle School – High School

Materials

  • Visual 2.1
  • Handouts 2.1 and 2.2, one copy of each for each student and one copy of each for the teacher to use as visuals
  • Handout 2.3, one copy for each student
  • Handout 2.3—Answer Key for the teacher to use as a visual

 

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Invest in Yourself

Students are divided into four groups to produce name tents. Each group produces name tents in a different way to highlight different levels of human capital. Students identify ways in which people invest in their human capital. Students use the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook to analyze unemployment, educational attainment, and median weekly income data for 2012. They work with a partner to create a graphical representation of the data and share their examples with the class.

As an assessment, they write several sentences that describe the unemployment, educational attainment, and median weekly income data and explain the likely impact of investment in human capital on potential earnings and unemployment. A second assessment asks students to use the Occupational Outlook Handbook to select an occupation of interest and outline the investments in human capital they must make to obtain that occupation.

Objectives

Students will:

  • define human capital and investment in human capital,
  • give examples of investment in human capital,
  • describe the relationship between a person’s level of education and income earning potential, and
  • describe the relationship between educational attainment and unemployment.

Grade Level

Middle School – High School

Time Required

  • 60 minutes

Materials

  • Handout 1, one copy for each student
  • Two sheets of light-colored construction paper per student plus one sheet for the teacher
  • One sheet of chart paper for each pair of students
  • One dark-colored marker for each student
  • Markers for each pair of students

 

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Calculating Down Payments as a Fraction

Students will learn to calculate down payments using fractions.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Students will learn about down payments.
  • Students will learn to calculate down payments using fractions.
  • Students will review multiplying fractions and whole numbers.

Suggested Grade Level

6th – 9th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

Many times, we will see word problems that use terms that we see in real life problems.

These are terms related to money or to business and they are terms that we should know or will need to know to be able to figure out purchases.

One of these terms is the term down payment.

What is a down payment?

A down payment is an amount of money that is paid towards a total purchase.

This happens whenever people want to purchase something and they can’t afford the whole price at once. Often we see this with large items like appliances, houses or cars.  We aren’t going to get into buying a car or a house in this lesson, but we will work with the idea of a down payment.

When someone makes a down payment, they pay a partial amount of the whole. Then that amount is subtracted from the total and what is left is the new amount that they need to pay.

 

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The Election of FDR and the New Deal

Learn about the New Deal and the election of FDR.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Students will understand some of the New Deal programs initiated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his administration to alleviate the effects of the Great Depression.
  • Students will understand the lasting effects of the New Deal programs.

Suggested Grade Level

5th – 8th Grade

Related Standards (from McREL’s Standards Compendium) :

  • S. History Standard 24: Understands how the New Deal addressed the Great Depression, transformed American federalism, and initiated the welfare state.
  • Language Arts Standards 7: Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts.

 

Overview of Lesson:

  1. Teacher leads the class in a pre-reading discussion of the New Deal.
  2. Teacher distributes passages. Students read them and answer the questions that follow.  Teacher should ask students to underline or highlight key words as they read.  Teachers can also use a portion of their history textbooks.
  3. Teacher leads the class in a post-reading discussion of the New Deal.
  4. Teacher assigns one or more of the follow-up activities.

 

Time Needed for Lesson:

1 class period for reading, responding, and discussions.  Doing one or more of the extended activities will add another 2-4 class periods.

 

Pre-Reading Discussion Questions

  1. Imagine that another “Great Depression” occurred today. What actions would you expect your government to take?  Your community?  Your family and friends?
  2. In response to the effects of the Great Depression, the government instituted a plan that they called a “New Deal.” Based on the name “New Deal,” what kinds of programs do you think are included in this plan?

 

Post-Reading Discussion Questions

  1. What words did students highlight in the reading? Possible answers: polio, fireside chats, Inaugural Address, Works Progress Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps, Tennessee Valley Authority, etc.
  2. What role did a disability play in FDR’s life and in his decision to become president?
  3. What kind of radio program is implied by the name “fireside chats”?
  4. How would you summarize the goals of the New Deal programs?

 

Extended Activities

Several activities are available for students to complete as a follow-up and reflection on the lesson.  All of the activities have the option of sharing with the class when the are completed.

 

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Developing a Budget

In the weeks prior to the start of the unit, students track their expenditures during a two-week period. In class, students create a group presentation about personal and financial goals. Individually, students identify four personal goals and describe the related financial goals. With financial goals in mind, students work in pairs to complete a budget analysis for a fictitious high school senior who needs to save money for prom. The lesson concludes with a personal budget development activity that uses the information on expenditures that was collected during the two-week data gathering period.

Objectives

  • Analyze personal goals to determine related and necessary financial goals.
  • Devise personal goals for a variety of time frames and develop related financial goals.
  • Gather data and use it to analyze personal spending.
  • Develop a budget that allows personal saving.

Grade Level

High School – College

Time Required

Two weeks of data collection outside of class (time frame for data collection can be modified as appropriate). One 50-minute class period.

Materials

  • SmartBoard (optional) If using a computer and projector please click when procedure says touch
  • Interactive PDF file Ƀ Copies of Handout 1: Tracking Your Expenses
  • Copies of Handout 2: Where Am I Going? A Goal-Setting Exercise
  • Copies of Handout 3: Budget Worksheet

National Standards in K–12 Personal Finance Education

  • Financial Responsibility and Decision-making
  • Standard 4: Make financial decisions by systematically considering alternatives and consequences.
  • Planning and Money Management
  • Standard 1: Develop a plan for spending and saving

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Budget to Save—The Balance Sheet

This lesson begins with dispelling common myths about millionaires through the interactive “Millionaire Quiz.” Students then have an opportunity to give their opinions of wealth in a brainstorming activity that culminates in a formalizing of the definition of wealth through the equation of “assets – liabilities = net worth.” Using a variety of interactives, students will further distinguish between wealth-building and depreciating assets and finalize the discussion by using an interactive balance sheet to calculate and visualize how wealth is created.

Objectives

  • Define wealth using the concept of net worth.
  • Measure wealth using a balance sheet.
  • Distinguish between wealth-creating assets and other types of assets.

Grade Level

High School – College

Time Required

One 50-minute class period

Materials

  • SmartBoard (optional). If using a computer and projector, please click when procedure says touch.
  • Interactive PDF file
  • Copies of Handout 1: Real Life Balance Sheets, cut apart
  • Copies of Handout 2: What Does It Mean to Be Wealthy? (optional)

National Standards in K–12 Personal Finance Education

  • Planning and Money Management
  • Standard 1: Develop a plan for spending and saving.
  • Standard 2: Develop a system for keeping and using financial records.
  • Standard 6: Develop a personal financial plan.

 

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Good Times and Hard Times in America

Learn about good times and bad times in the United States in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Students will be to identify the automobile, movie and radio industries as indicative of prosperity in the U.S. in the 1920’s.
  • Students will be able to name the first “talkie” and tell what year it was produced.
  • Students will be able to explain what caused the stock market to crash in 1929.
  • Students will be able to identify October 29, 1929 as the day the stock market crashed.
  • Students will be able to identify the stock market crash as the beginning of the Great Depression.
  • Students will be able to describe the hardships people faced during the Great Depression.

Suggested Grade Level

4th – 6th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

Soon after World War I ended, many people in America experienced good times. The United States was now the richest country in the world, and the biggest sign of good times for most people was having a car of their own. More than half of American families had a car by 1927, and the success of the automobile industry had a great effect on the landscape of the country. Country roads were replaced by paved highways, and the highways were lined with growing businesses such as gas stations, diner and motels.

Work life was also easier in the 1920’s. For the first time, most people had weekends off to spend on entertainment. Some even had paid vacation time for the first time. The movie industry began to grow as people had more free time. Since Thomas Edison invented the motion picture, movies had been a favorite pastime for Americans, though early movies had no sound. Then in 1927, the first “talkie” was produced. It was a movie called “The Jazz Singer” that starred an actor and singer named Al Jolson. Another big business was radio. By 1929, nearly one third of American families had a radio in their homes. They would sit by the radio at night and listen to stories, music or the news.

 

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