Car Loan Application

In this lesson students practice filling out a sample car loan application.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Learn how to fill out a car loan application

 

Suggested Grade Level

7th Grade – 12th Grade

Lesson:

Students should first search advertisements for a car that they are interested in purchasing. Next, fill out the car loan application form.

 

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For Plant Lovers Only: Becoming a Botanist

Learn what botanists are, where they work, and how a person can become a botanist.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Students will be able to explain what a botanist is and what kinds of activities a botanist might do.
  • Students will be able to describe five sub-specialties in the field of botany.
  • Students will be able to name places where a botanist might work.
  • Students will be able to explain how a person can become a botanist.

Suggested Grade Level

5th – 8th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

Botany is the study of plants. A scientist that works with plants is known as a botanist. Botanists do many different things in a wide variety of settings. They study plants to find out how they can best be grown and thrive. They study properties of plants that make them useful as medicine, and they do research to learn about the nutritional value of plants as well. Botanists also develop ways to use plants to make things like building supplies and fibers for clothing.

Botanists may work indoors or outdoors, depending on the specific job they do. They work with farmers, in nature museums and in laboratories. Many work in colleges and universities, where they teach and do research. Government organizations hire botanists as well. For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Parks Service are two large employers of botanists. Drug companies, paper and lumber companies, food companies and seed companies also hire botanists.

 

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A Career with Bugs: Becoming an Entomologist

Learn what entomologists are, where they work, and how a person can become an entomologist.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Students will be able to explain what an entomologist is and what kinds of activities they might do.
  • Students will be able to describe two sub-specialties in the field of entomology.
  • Students will be able to name places where an entomologist might work.
  • Students will be able to describe how insects can be problematic as well as how they are beneficial.
  • Students will be able to explain how a person can become an entomologist.

Suggested Grade Level

5th – 8th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

An entomologist is a scientist that studies insects. Sound creepy? Perhaps, but for an entomologist, the world of butterflies, bees and mosquitoes is both fascinating and rewarding. Entomologists work in research labs, for health departments and in colleges and universities. One of the most important things these scientists do is to help prevent the destruction that insects can cause, such as damage to buildings or the devastation of crops. But not all bugs cause problems. Entomologists also find out how some insects are helpful to the environment. For example, ladybugs feed on insects that might destroy crops, while field crickets eat some common household pests. Bees provide us with honey and beeswax, which is used to make candles, cosmetics and household products.

Some entomologists specialize in working with specific kinds of insects. For example, lepidopterists work with butterflies and apiculturists raise bees. An entomologist that studies how insects behave in a certain environment and how they affect other organisms (including people) is called an ecological entomologist.

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Consumer Privacy – Overview & Awareness of Issues

In this lesson students and consumers are provided with a general overview and awareness of privacy issues that impact their lives.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Define what is meant by privacy in the information age
  • Explain the pros and cons of database profiles
  • Understand federal laws that offer privacy protection
  • Identify public and private sector sources of information
  • Understand key privacy issues as they relate to information sources, insurance, employment, direct mail, credit reporting, telecommunications, electronic monitoring, and Social Security numbers
  • Explain how to remove your name from mailing and telemarketing lists
  • Explain how to obtain a credit report

 

Suggested Grade Level

7th Grade – 12th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

In today’s information age, keeping your personal financial information private can be challenging. What you put on an application for a loan, your payment history, where you make purchases, and your account balances are but a few of the financial records that can be sold to third parties and other organizations.

This lesson will discuss how public and private records are accessed and used by various organizations, as well as review privacy laws to protect your information.

Direct mail, credit reports, telecommunications, and Social Security numbers will be considered from the standpoint of what consumers can do to protect their privacy rights.

In addition, students will learn about their options as a consumer and ways to “opt out” of database profiles. Students will also learn about privacy in the workplace and the various issues related to their personnel files, electronic mail monitoring, and laws to protect their rights.

 

Teacher’s Guide

Teacher’s Guide

 

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In Trouble – Dealing with Financial Difficulties

In this lesson students will become aware of the warning signs of financial difficulties.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Describe some of the ways you can get in trouble using credit
  • Explain the first steps to take if you can’t pay your bills on time
  • Describe the debt management services provided by nonprofit credit counseling centers
  • List some of the promises made by “credit repair” companies
  • Understand how to evaluate a “credit repair” company before deciding whether or not to use its services
  • Understand the protections provided by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
  • List and understand the wage garnishment and repossession rights of creditors
  • Understand the difference between straight bankruptcy and the wage-earner plan
  • Understand the disadvantages of using bankruptcy as a solution to debt
  • List the ten types of debt that are not affected by bankruptcy

 

Suggested Grade Level

7th Grade – 12th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

The material in this lesson will help students become aware of the warning signs of financial difficulties.

When difficulties arise, students should first contact their creditors. Next, efforts should be made to revise spending patterns. In addition, assistance from a member of the National Foundation for Consumer Credit service agencies might be considered.

What if these actions do not help? In the next sections of the lesson, students will examine other actions that might be considered, such as debt consolidation loans and bankruptcy. Students should also be aware of fair debt collection practices and wage garnishment.

 

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Teacher’s Guide

 

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Saving & Investing – Making Choices

Introduce the advantages and disadvantages of common savings and investment vehicles, and show the short and long term effects of various savings and investment choices.

Teaching Objectives:

  • List and prioritize some of your short- and long-term budget goals
  • List and explain some of the advantages of saving money
  • Understand the concept of “pay yourself first” and list some ways to encourage this habit
  • List and explain the differences among the most common saving methods
  • Understand the advantages and disadvantages of popular investment vehicles
  • Understand what investment fraud is, and list some of the ways you can protect yourself against investment swindlers
  • Compare and contrast the short and long term consequences of investment decisions

 

Suggested Grade Level

7th Grade – 12th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

Saving just 35 cents a day will result in more than $125 in a year. Small amounts saved and invested can easily grow into larger sums. However, a person must start to save.

This lesson provides students with a basic knowledge of saving and investing. The process starts with setting financial goals. Next, a commitment to saving is discussed.

Various savings plans are available to consumers. These include regular savings accounts, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit (CD). Then, students will analyze factors to consider when selecting a savings account. These include interest rates, fees, balance requirements, and deposit insurance. Investing takes saving one step further in a person’s financial plan. Bonds, stocks, mutual funds, real estate, and retirement accounts are covered in the next section of this lesson.

Finally, students are made aware of potential investment frauds. The variety of these swindles increases each year as con artists look for new opportunities to separate people from their money.

 

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Teacher’s Guide

 

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Consumer Awareness – Decision Making Methods

In this lesson students combine decision-making methods with comparative shopping techniques, recognize common consumer scams, and provide the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively handle consumer complaints.

Teaching Objectives:

Use decision-making methods before purchasing a product or service

Customize and use a comparative-shopping chart

Identify alternative buying plans, and list the advantages and disadvantages of each

Identify various consumer scams, describe how they work, and explain what you can do if you find yourself caught in one

Understand how to handle a consumer complaint effectively

Understand how and why to keep records of your purchases

Identify federal and private sources for consumer information and consumer help

 

Suggested Grade Level

7th Grade – 12th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

Decisions, decisions. With so many choices available to us, how can we be sure we’re making the right decision?

Wise consumer buying starts with a plan. Using a systematic purchasing strategy will provide students with an ability to make more effective purchases. Comparative shopping techniques will be discussed to encourage students to carefully consider price, product attributes, warranties, and store policies. Next, this lesson covers a variety of buying methods, such as buying clubs, shopping by phone, catalogs, online, and door-to-door selling.

Consumer buying makes a person a target for various consumer scams. While fraud in the marketplace is not new, the methods used have kept up with technology. Telemarketing fraud and deceptive internet promotions result in consumers losing billions of dollars each year. What actions should a person take to resolve a consumer problem? This question is answered with several suggestions in the next section of this lesson. Finally, students will learn about sources of help available to them through government agencies and other organizations.

 

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Teacher’s Guide

 

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The Influence of Advertising – Understanding Techniques

In this lesson students recognize how and when advertising techniques can influence buying decisions.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Understand and identify basic advertising techniques and appeals
  • Understand and identify deceptive or questionable advertising techniques
  • Give examples of commonly seen misleading advertisements, and identify the deceptive or questionable appeals and techniques used in each
  • Discriminate between facts and unsupported claims in print advertisements and in television commercials

 

Suggested Grade Level

7th Grade – 12th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

In today’s modern world, advertising seems to be everywhere we look; online, television, billboards, magazines, newspapers, on buses, grocery carts, even cell phones.

In addition, some forms of advertising can be subliminal, such as the strategically-placed soda can in a movie. We can’t help but be influenced and manipulated as consumers. In this lesson, students will become aware of the various techniques and appeals used to influence consumer behavior.

Warnings must also be sounded. Unethical selling techniques such as “bait and switch,” as well as common deceptive promotions like “get rich quick schemes” are discussed here. This is followed by information on program-length commercials, also called “infomercials.”

Finally, students are asked to develop guidelines for viewing and evaluating advertising. This skill will prepare them to make rational decisions in our very complex and evolving marketplace.

 

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Teacher’s Guide

 

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Cars & Loans – Costs & Responsibilities

In this lesson students investigate the legal and financial responsibilities of buying, maintaining, insuring, and operating a car, and translate those responsibilities into a monthly budget.

Teaching Objectives:

  • List some of the costs of owning and operating a car
  • Given a budget, decide how much you can afford to pay for a car
  • List some of the things you should research and some decisions you should make before you begin to shop for a car
  • Understand the differences between various kinds of warranties and service contracts
  • List some steps you can take to resolve warranty and service contract disputes
  • List some of the factors to consider when shopping for a car loan
  • Calculate the total cost of various car loans
  • Understand what a co-signer is, and describe when one is necessary
  • List the responsibilities of a co-signer and of the person getting the loan
  • List some of the factors to consider when shopping for car insurance
  • List some of the factors used to set car insurance rates
  • Understand the circumstances under which a vehicle can be repossessed, and list the legal rights and responsibilities of the creditor and of the debtor
  • Given a budget, decide how much money can safely be spent each month to own, operate, and maintain a car
  • Know the advantages and disadvantages of leasing a motor vehicle

 

Suggested Grade Level

7th Grade – 12th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

“Should I buy a new car or a used car?”

“Where is the best place to finance my automobile purchase?”

“Is it better to take the rebate or the low-rate financing plan?”

These are typical questions asked by people buying vehicles. In this lesson, students are asked to identify costs associated with owning and operating a motor vehicle. Since these costs are commonly underestimated, guidelines are provided on how much to spend when buying vehicles.

The material provided in this lesson will address the many factors and decisions involved in purchasing and financing a vehicle. In addition to comparing used and new cars, we also cover warranties, service contracts, and financing the purchase. Other issues related to using credit for buying a car include the information required by the Truth-in-Lending law, use of a co-signer, and repossession.

Finally, various aspects of auto insurance are discussed. Students will learn about types of coverages,
factors affecting insurance costs, and comparing insurance companies.

 

Teacher’s Guide

Teacher’s Guide

 

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Credit Cards – Understanding & Responsibilities

In this lesson students develop skills to compare and evaluate the terms and conditions of various credit cards, the differences between credit cards, and the legal and financial responsibilities involved.

Teaching Objectives:

  • List three types of credit card accounts, and explain the uses and payment methods of each
  • Understand how to shop for a credit card
  • Read and interpret a credit card statement
  • Understand how to deal with billing errors
  • Understand the long-term results of overextending your credit uses
  • Determine safe personal debt loads

 

Suggested Grade Level

7th Grade – 12th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

What is APR? What is a grace period? What are transaction fees?

These and other questions will be answered in this lesson as students learn about credit cards, and the different types of cards available and features of each, such as bank cards, store cards, and travel and entertainment cards.

As students start to shop for their first (or next) credit card, this lesson will make them aware of various costs and features. Included in this section is a discussion of the methods for calculating finance charges.

Various federal laws protect our rights as we apply for and use credit cards, such as procedures for disputes and protection from card theft and fraud. In this lesson, students will also be given an opportunity to analyze the information contained on a credit card statement.

To assist students with making wise decisions related to credit cards, several shopping tips are offered. Finally, once again, students are reminded of guidelines related to determining safe debt loads.

 

Teacher’s Guide

Teacher’s Guide

 

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