curriculum resources


Teaching students about economics or how to manage their personal finance doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming.  In fact, the Making Cents Project supports integrating personal finance and economics into subjects such as language arts, math and social studies as much as possible – particularly in grade K-8.  For high school level students, a standalone course in each subject is beneficial. 

To support each of these approaches – K-8 integration and standalone high school courses – the following resources will be of use. 

Note – this is an ongoing project with new resources being developed all of the time.  Please check back – and – feel free to make suggestions. 

Integrating Personal Finance and Economics in Grades K-8 – Resources for Educators

Model K-12 Financial Education Curriculum

A sample K-12 financial education curriculum has been prepared for use by Pennsylvania educators. The model curriculum can be found here

Money as You Learn

Provides teachers with Common Core aligned texts, lessons, and tasks that connect the Common Core to real life application while also equipping students with the knowledge needed to make smart financial decisions. Visit their site at

Children’s Literature Lesson Plans from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Literature based lessons for elementary grade teach economics and personal finance through children's picture books such as Uncle Jed's Barbershop, The Pickle Patch Bathtub, and Less than Zero. Download the free lesson plans at  

My Classroom Economy

Developed by educators in partnership with Vanguard, this program combines lessons in personal finance and economics with classroom management techniques. Students earn a paycheck by taking on classroom jobs, earn bonuses for academic performance or outstanding behavior, and incur fines for breaking classroom rules.  Learn more at

The Stock Market Game 

Studies have shown that students using this investment simulation perform better than peers that do not use the program on math assessments. Find out how your students can hone their math skills while becoming investment savvy at the same time at

Teaching Personal Finance and Economics as Standalone High School Courses

Having students take a capstone course in personal finance and another in economics is certainly the best option for sending them off into the "real world" as prepared as possible.  Schools and teachers wishing to do so have many choices in doing so. While model personal finance courses for Pennsylvania schools are currently under development by an outstanding team of teachers from across the state and representing various disciplines, there are certainly plenty of resources to look into now - and almost all of them are free.  Check back and subscribe to our eBlasts for more information on this project.

Pennsylvania-Specific Resources

Model High School Personal Finance Course

Did you know a team of Pennsylvania teachers developed a Model Personal Finance Course just for other Pennsylvania teachers to use and adapt for their own purposes? The course is available on the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Standards Aligned System. Once logged in, you can access each module along with additional resources here. A PDF version of the course is also available to download.

iTunes U High School Personal Finance Course
Nearly 300 digital resources that help to augment high school personal finance instruction (videos, games, articles, interactives, and more) can be found in the Pennsylvania Learns iTunes Course devoted to High School Personal Finance. The course is optimized for delivery on an iPad. Download the iTunes U app and search "High School Personal Finance" to access the course and all of its contents. Don't have iPads? You can still get a complete list of all the course's content in spreadsheet form. To submit changes or updates, please use the form located here

Other Resources

High School Financial Planning Program

From the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), this program offers six units of student and teacher materials.  Teachers love both the quality of the materials and the fact that NEFE will send free copies of the student booklets for every student - every year.  Get a username and password and start exploring their materials at

Take Charge Today (formerly Family Economics and Financial Education)

With two programs - an introductory level for grades 7-9 and an advanced level for grades 10-12, the Family Economics and Financial Education or FEFE programs are very popular with Pennsylvania teachers.  With a log-in and password, teachers can access hundreds of free lesson plans, active learning tools, and more at

Practical Money Skills for Life

Visa offers a range of lesson plans for K-college.  Their grade 9-12 lessons are newly revised and available free of charge on their website at 

Online Course Modules in Personal Finance

The following are free, online personal finance modules available to Pennsylvania teachers interested in self-paced, online learning.


This interactive curriculum offers 36 modules with pre- and post-tests.  Teachers can view student progress, set module retake scores for students, and keep an electronic grade book. Learn more at


In this program, students register themselves for the course once the teacher provides a class code.  Student progress through the 18 modules can be monitored easily and teacher guides are provieded. Learn more at


Complex financial conecpts are brought to life for today's digital generation through video, animations, 3-D gaming, avatars, and social networking in this platform.  Learn more at


This online simulation-based program also offers printed materials for students to reference and keep.  Students love the look and feel of the materials and website while teachers appreciate the ease of use and class management tools.  Learn more at

Still want more?

For a wealth of additional ideas and resources, visit the For Educators section of Your Money’s Best Friend at