Personal finance skills, like reading, writing and arithmetic, need to be taught at a young age. Basic skills taught now means fewer problems with debt and credit later.
Take Charge America is pleased to provide lesson plans for teachers to use with students from grades one to five. These lesson plans incorporate personal finance skills with children's books to provide a fun, well-rounded learning experience.
Lesson Plan Pages
Each grade level has 10 lesson plans for a complete unit of study. Each lesson is a PDF document that you can download which includes objectives, materials lists, worksheets and content standards.
Fourth Grade Lesson Plans
Characteristics and Functions of Money
Students share the book The Go-Around Dollar, by Barbara Johnston Adams, to learn about the features of money and how money is used. They complete worksheets on the characteristics and functions of money.
The Role of Money
Students read a chapter from the book Double Fudge, by Judy Blume, to learn how money is produced and how people can get money. The complete a worksheet about earning money, play a game about the value of money, and design their own money.
Students share one chapter from Henry and Beezus, by Beverly Cleary, to learn about exchange, market, price and spending. They complete a worksheet on checking accounts and analyze the costs of using a credit card.
Savings and Earnings
Students share several chapters from the book The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes: Have Wheels, Will Travel, by Anne Mazer, to learn about savings, earnings and budgets. Students complete a worksheet on savings and earnings and create a budget.
Earning an Income
Students share several chapters from the book Shoeshine Girl, by Clyde Robert Bulla, to learn about the role of money, labor, earning income, positive and negative incentives, and improving human capital and productivity. Students complete a worksheet on earning money, discuss possible careers and participate in an activity that shows the importance of learning and practicing new skills.
Borrowing and Lending
Students share the book Ben and Me, by Robert Lawson, to learn about borrowing, lending and interest. Students complete a worksheet about borrowing money, create a table that shows the advantages and disadvantages of borrowing money, and role-play borrowing and lending money.
What’s the Price?
Students share the book Pigs Go to Market: Fun with Math and Shopping, by Amy Axelrod, to learn about price and comparative shopping. Students complete a worksheet on price, analyze the unit price of several items, and compare prices at local grocery stores.
Using Credit and Spending Money Wisely
Students share several chapters of the book Mr. Popper’s Penguins, by Richard and Florence Atwater, to learn about earning money, cost, credit and spending money wisely. Students complete a worksheet in which they determine how much it costs to care for a pet, complete an activity on credit, and play a saving and spending game.
Do You Really Need It?
Students share several chapters of the book The Boxcar Children, by Gertrude Chandler Warner, to learn about needs and wants and earning money. Students complete a worksheet on needs and wants, create a spending plan based on needs and wants, and determine ways they can earn money.
Students share several chapters of the book Stone Fox, by John Reynolds Gardiner, to learn about earning money, saving, credit and taxes. Students complete a worksheet on taxes and paying off debts, analyze a paycheck, calculate sales tax and discuss the importance of saving.
Take Charge Today
Providing no-cost curriculum materials to junior high and high school educators across the nation, Take Charge Today (formerly Family Economics & Financial Education) is designed to teach students about money management skills and the financial planning process. Lessons can be taught independently, in topic modules or as a semester long course.
Take Charge America Institute (TCAI)
Developing research-based educational outreach programs, TCAI encourages students at colleges and universities nationwide to help improve consumer financial literacy and make informed financial choices in today's complex markets.