Cha-Ching Sets Financial Lessons to Music

Are you an elementary or middle school teacher that wants a fun way to teach personal finance concepts to your students? Throughout April, we are celebrating Financial Capability Month by featuring a variety of financial education programs and resources that you can put to use in your classroom right away. The fifth of these programs is Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids.

Discovery Education and the Jackson Charitable Foundation have teamed up to offer Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids. The program offers 18 animated music videos focused on earning, saving, spending, and donating money. Each video is only about 3 minutes making them easy to incorporate in the classroom or during station rotations. Aimed at grades 3-6, Cha-Ching also offers classroom activities, educator guides, and family activities.

Check out some of these Cha-Ching videos and associated resources:

  • It’s Got to Be Earned (episode 2) – A Cha-Ching band member wants a new remote control car, but first he will need to earn money to buy it. He thinks about jobs he would be good at doing and how much each would pay. Will he earn enough money to buy what he wants? In the accompanying family activity, students ask relatives about how they earn money and the work they do.
  • Spend Your Money Wisely, My Friend (episode 7) – The Cha-Ching band has a problem – one of their speakers isn’t working. Should they buy a new one? Is it a want or a need? How much will it cost? Can shopping around save them money? The corresponding 45-minute classroom activity includes a budgeting activity in which students pretend to buy items using beans or a similar item.
  • Charity (episode 9) – The focus of this video is on making the world a better place and getting joy from giving to others. Different forms of giving are presented including donating money, time, and belongings. The family activity encourages families to watch the video together and brainstorm ways they could help others. A handout is provided for families to create a plan to “Make a Difference.”
  • Invisible Money (episode 12) – The Cha-Ching band plans a surprise birthday party for one of its money. They use credit cards or “invisible money” to buy many of the supplies and blow their budget. When their bill comes, they find out they have money they owe. Will they pay it back? What about interest? In the related classroom activity, students divide into two teams, Team Save and Team Spend, and go through a simulation in which they are given purchasing decisions. Team Save waits to purchase the items until they have enough saved and earn interest while saving their money. Meanwhile, Team Spend uses credit and pays interest.

Look for more featured resources throughout April: Financial Capability Month. 

Disclaimer: Resources included on the Making Cents blog have been reviewed by Pennsylvania educators and deemed worthwhile for classroom or professional use. Inclusion does not indicate endorsement by the Pennsylvania Department of Education or Penn State University.

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