Money Lessons for Kids and Teens
Learning about money from a young age is crucial for a child's success in the world. Money lessons should be appropriate to a child's age and education level. For example, elementary school kids should learn the basics of money, why it's important, and how to use it. Older students in middle school, high school and college should learn how to use money wisely, the basics of investing and savings, and how to manage credit and debt responsibly. Teaching kids about money will help them make smart choices and avoid major debt and financial problems in their future.
Money Lessons for Kids Ages 5-12
- The Centsables - Animated ,comic book-style money lessons for young kids. Lessons introduce kids to the basics of money, how interest works, and the stock market.
- Explaining Taxes to Kids - Lessons and activities for students in grades 3 through 5 about taxes. The lessons cover income tax and sales taxes and feature activities and questions to help students and teachers dive deeper into the subject.
- It's My Life: Managing Money - Lessons from PBS Kids about money. Topics include earning money, saving money, and using a bank.
- Project Change - A financial literacy program from the Securities and Exchange Commission for elementary-aged students. The program consists of three parts: spending wisely, setting goals, and making smart money choices.
- Kid's Economic Glossary - A glossary of financial terms that kids should learn, from Scholastic.
- Money: Kids and Cash - A lesson from Discovery Education for kids in grades K through 5. The lesson plan has three objectives. It aims to teach kids about interest banks give to people with savings accounts, interest banks charge people who borrow money, and the difference between interest rates.
- Follow the Money! (PDF) - A lesson plan for students in 1st and 2nd grade from the Treasurer of Vermont. The plan is based on the illustrated book "Follow the Money!" by Loreen Leedy.
- The Story of Jack and the Bank Stalk - A lesson for students in grades 3 through 5. Students learn about the role of banks and the function of money in everyday life.
- How Smart Are You With Money? - A money lesson for kids using the poem "Smart" by Shel Silverstein.
- Berenstain Bears Trouble With Money - Lesson plan for elementary age students using the book "The Berenstain Bears: Trouble With Money."
Money Lessons for Kids Ages 13-17
- Benjamin Franklin and the Birth of Paper Money (PDF) - A lesson plan for high school students that focuses on the role of paper money in the colonies. Students learn about the problems people face when there is too little money circulating as well as the problems created by inflation.
- Moneytopia - An online game from FINRA that teaches teenagers about using money. In the game, teens pay bills, set goals and strive to earn enough money to retire early.
- 5 Ways to Cut Spending...and Still Get to Do and Buy Cool Things - Five tips on spending less money for teenagers from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
- Teens and Money - A collection of lesson plans for high school age students. Plans include learning about compound interest, saving money, and avoiding or paying off debt.
- Risky Business - or Not! - An introduction to the stock market for middle and high school students.
- To Pay the Price (PDF) - Lesson plan on online banking and electronic payments from the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank. The lesson is aimed at students in middle school.
- Beyond the Checkbook: Choices of Payment Methods - Activity guide and lesson plan for middle and high school students on different ways to pay off items, such as credit cards, checks, and cash. Explains that money is a broad term.
- Credit - Buy Now and Pay More Later - Program for teachers to use to explain how credit works to students. Explains the benefits of credit, how people can obtain it and the risks of it.
- Cards, Cars and Currency - A curriculum unit for high school students that focuses on three major money matters: currency, credit cards, and choosing and paying for a car.
- Credit as Currency - Lesson plan from the US Mint exploring the role of currency in the creation of banking and credit systems.
Money Lessons for College Teens
Money lessons for Teachers
- It's All About Your Money (PDF) - Lesson plan for upper elementary and middle school teachers from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The plan includes a script for teachers, plus games for students and handouts.
- Money Math - Lessons for Life (PDF) - A collection of money lesson plans sponsored by the Department of the Treasury. The plans cover how to save money and become a millionaire, how to create a budget, and how to understand taxes.
- Money Lessons for Your Kids - An article from "Forbes" magazine describing the money skills kids should have by ages 5, 10, and 15. Although directed to parents, teachers can use the information in the article to check that their students are on track.
- Biz Kid$ - A collection of videos for teachers to use in the classroom. Episodes of Biz Kid$ cover topics such as credit and debt, getting a job, and financial planning.
- Rich Kid, Smart Kid - A collection of lesson plans for a variety of age groups. Topics include debt, saving, and earning a profit.
- Teacher Lesson Plans - A collection of lesson plans for teachers from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Lessons are for a range of ages, from young elementary school to high school.
- Teacher Resources from Investor.gov - Lesson plans and classroom activities ideas for teachers to teach students about risk, investing, and the importance of saving money.
- Kids and Money - Guide for parents from CNN Money about teaching kids about money. The guide can be used by teachers to help them plan out money lessons and financial literacy programs.
- Jump$tart - A financial literacy program that offers teacher assistance as well as conferences and teacher training programs.
- Youth and Money - Educator Resources - A collection of curricula and lesson plans from the University of Minnesota Extension. The lesson plans range in age from young elementary school to college and beyond.