CURRICULUM RESOURCES

Teaching students about economics or how to manage their personal finances 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. Some of the most widely used curriculum tools and resources to support each of these approaches – K-8 integration and standalone high school courses – can be found organized by grade level below.

For all grade levels, be sure to check out the following:

Pennsylvania’s 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 accessed on the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Standards Aligned System here (select personal finance) and here (requires user login). It includes long-term transfer goals, six overarching big ideas, alignment with standards, grade-level content recommendations, and more.

Building Blocks to Help Youth Achieve Financial Capability

Research commissioned by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau led to a report, Building Blocks to Help Youth Achieve Financial Capability, which describes how young people acquire the “building blocks” of financial capability to help them navigate the financial marketplace as adults. The building blocks are: 1) executive function, 2) financial habits and norms, and 3) financial knowledge and decision-making skills. The report lays out four key strategies for implementing these developmental building blocks.

Personal Finance Teaching Pedagogy

Where and when during childhood and adolescence do people acquire the foundations of financial capability? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) researched the childhood origins of financial capability and well-being to identify those roots and find promising practices and strategies to support their development. The Personal Finance Pedagogy is a guide for educators to teach the development of youth personal finance skills.

Curriculum Review Tool

If you are reviewing options for financial education curriculum, consider the Curriculum Review Tool made available from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. It includes background information and a series of factors to consider when selecting the material that will work best for your unique needs.

Jump$tart Clearinghouse

For a wealth of additional ideas and resources, visit the Jump$tart Clearinghouse where you can search for materials that will fit your unique needs.

ELEMENTARY

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 http://www.phil.frb.org/education/teachers/lesson-plans/index.cfm

Earn Your Future Digital Lab

PWC offers the Earn Your Future Digital Lab as a flexible online tool for exploring personal finance topics from grades 3-12. Self-paced modules can be used individually by students, in small groups, or displayed on a screen for whole-group instruction. Each module is accompanied by a Module Resource Guide to assist the educator. Get registered for a free educator account and create student usernames at https://app.pwcfdnearnyourfuture.org/.

Money as You Grow Book Club

The Money as You Grow book club is a family financial education program that uses children’s books to help families learn key money concepts through reading, play, and quiet one-on-one talks. It features discussion guides for over 15 well-loved children’s books. Learn more at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/consumer-tools/money-as-you-grow/book-club/.

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 http://www.moneyasyoulearn.org/

Money Smart for Young People

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) offers a series of six lessons for students in grades PK-2 and another eight lessons for grades 3-5 as part of its Money Smart for Young People curriculum. Learn more at https://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/young.html.

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 http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/foreducators/.

$martPath

Developed by the University of Cincinnati’s Economics Center and free to use, $martPath is an engaging, interactive and easy-to-use way for teachers of grades 1-6 to embed relevant and fun economic and financial education in their classrooms. Get started at https://www.smartpath.online/.

Vault by Everfi

Vault is an interactive learning course specifically designed to introduce financial education skills to students in grades 4-6.  The course uses the latest in new-media technologies to bring complex financial concepts to life for today’s digital generation. Create a free teacher account at https://everfi.com/k-12/vault-understanding-money/.

 

MIDDLE SCHOOL

Earn Your Future Digital Lab

PWC offers the Earn Your Future Digital Lab as a flexible online tool for exploring personal finance topics from grades 3-12. Self-paced modules can be used individually by students, in small groups, or displayed on a screen for whole-group instruction. Each module is accompanied by a Module Resource Guide to assist the educator. Get registered for a free educator account and create student usernames at https://app.pwcfdnearnyourfuture.org/.

FutureSmart by EverFi

FutureSmartSM empowers middle school students to effectively manage their finances, make sound decisions, and become stewards of their financial future. Through a story-based narrative, students play the mayor of a town as they help local citizens make real-life, personal finance decisions. Learn more at https://everfi.com/k-12/future-smart/.

Money Smart for Young People

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) offers a series of 12 lessons for students in grades 6-8 as part of its Money Smart for Young People curriculum. Learn more and download the materials from https://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/young/grades-6-8.html.

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 http://www.myclassroomeconomy.org/home.html

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 http://www.takechargetoday.arizona.edu.

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 http://www.smgww.org/index.html

 

HIGH SCHOOL

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 http://www.hsfpp.org/.

Money Smart for Young People

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) offers a series of 22 lesson plans for students in grades 9-12 as part of its Money Smart for Young People curriculum. Learn more and download the materials from https://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/young/grades-9-12.html.

Next Gen Personal Finance

Whether you are looking for a single activity, unit plan, well-developed project, or an entire course-worth of materials, check out Next Gen Personal Finance. Their free, educator-developed materials are updated regularly and made available through Google Drive or Gooru. Registration is only required to access the assessment materials. https://www.ngpf.org/

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 http://www.takechargetoday.arizona.edu.

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 http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/foreducators/.

Online Course Modules in Personal Finance

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

Banzai!

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  http://teachbanzai.com/.

Earn Your Future Digital Lab

PWC offers the Earn Your Future Digital Lab as a flexible online tool for exploring personal finance topics from grades 3-12. Self-paced modules can be used individually by students, in small groups, or displayed on a screen for whole-group instruction. Each module is accompanied by a Module Resource Guide to assist the educator. Get registered for a free educator account and create student usernames at https://app.pwcfdnearnyourfuture.org/.

EverFi Financial Literacy

Everfi Financial Literacy is an engaging, online resource that uses video, animations and interactive activities to bring complex financial concepts to life. EverFi tracks individual student progress and knowledge gain and provides students who successfully complete the course with certification in financial literacy. The platform contains 9 modules covering a variety of topics. Learn more at https://everfi.com/k-12/everfi-k-12-finliteracy/.

FoolProof

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 provided. Learn more at http://www.foolproofteacher.com/

MoneySkill

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 http://www.moneyskill.org/.

 

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