Help Your Students Take Charge Today

In celebration of April and Financial Capability Month, the Making Cents Project is showcasing a different financial education program or resource each day of the month. The 30th and final featured resource in this series is Take Charge Today from the University of Arizona.

Are you looking for lesson plans and active learning strategies to teach personal finance in middle or high school? Check out Take Charge Today. There are more than 75 lesson plans which have been created by educators with experience in financial education. Materials are available at two levels: introductory (grades 7-9) and advanced (grades 10-12). Each includes teaching strategies, lesson materials, student workbook pages, PowerPoint files and more.

The program weaves four themes into its lessons:

  1. You are responsible for yourself
  2. Your present self impacts your future self
  3. You are better off in a community than by yourself
  4. Investing helps you cope with risk and uncertainty

To access the full curriculum, you will need to request a user account. Once logged in, you can browse and search the many resources. Below is a sample of what you’ll find.

Pacing Guides: Take Charge Today provides a recommended instruction order. For grades 7-9, there are outlines for two-week and nine-week units. For grades 10-12, there are four options: two-week, nine-week, semester, and year-long courses.

Assessment Tools: The program provides a multiple choice question bank, unit assessments, and applied assessments. The Life in… United States simulation (must be logged in to access), for example, provides an excellent opportunity for students to demonstrate their understanding of personal finance concepts in a very hands-on manner. Students must prepare a spending plan based on a specified career and other criteria.

Technology Integration: The program places an emphasis on using technology to enhance instruction. There are also suggestions for managing a paperless personal finance classroom and using apps with students.  

Professional Development: The site includes videos of experts discussing financial topics along with demonstration lessons and recorded webinars. There is also an online forum for the exchange of ideas with other educators using the program.

Program Promotion Support: Last – but not least – there are materials to help educators promote their financial education program to administrators, students, parents, and community members. This includes sample letters, presentations, press releases and more.

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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