3 Fun and Easy Ways to Introduce Financial Literacy

3 Fun and Easy Ways to Introduce Financial Literacy

Introducing financial literacy at an early age is crucial for equipping young learners with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed decisions about money management. As educators, we have the opportunity to lay a solid foundation for students’ future financial well-being by incorporating engaging and practical activities into our classrooms.

This blog post aims to provide upper elementary teachers with three fun and easy methods to introduce basic financial literacy, empowering students to develop a healthy relationship with money from an early age.

1. Setting Up a Classroom Economy

A classroom economy is a great way to teach kids about money by turning your classroom into a mini-society. Students earn classroom cash by doing jobs, and then they can spend it on rewards or save it. It’s a direct, hands-on way to learn about earning, saving, and spending.

Classroom Economy

To help teachers seamlessly implement this powerful teaching tool, I’ve created a comprehensive Classroom Economy resource. From setting up a classroom bank to creating job opportunities and managing a classroom store, this kit equips educators with everything they need to bring financial literacy to life. It comes with everything you need: printer-friendly materials, clear tips for teachers, and photos to show you how it’s done. Plus, the pages are editable, so you can adjust it to fit your class. Whether it’s changing the jobs available or the rewards, you can make it work for your teaching style and your students’ needs. 

This method teaches kids not just about money, but also about responsibility and making smart choices. With my Classroom Economy resource, setting it up is straightforward, leaving you more time to focus on teaching. It’s a practical, engaging way to bring financial literacy into your classroom.

Classroom Economy

Start a classroom economy and teach your students financial responsibility! This resource has everything you need to get started in your classroom, with printer-friendly pages, teacher tips, and photo examples. Editable pages allow you to customize the classroom economy to best fit your needs.

Biome Research Google Slides Project

2. Financial Literacy Word Wall

A Financial Literacy Word Wall mixes math with money skills, using clear terms, simple definitions, and pictures. This makes complex financial ideas easier for kids to grasp and remember. I’ve picked terms from TEKs and various elementary financial literacy websites, ensuring they’re just what your students need to know.

This resource comes in two forms: a physical word wall for your classroom and a digital version for Google Slides. You can share the digital wall through Google Classroom or your class website, making it easy for kids to review the same terms they see at school, even when they’re at home.

Financial Literacy Word Wall

Using this word wall in daily lessons helps kids get familiar with financial vocabulary regularly. It’s a straightforward way to weave financial literacy into your math lessons, making these important concepts a normal part of your students’ learning journey.

With both printable and digital options, this word wall fits any teaching style and any classroom situation. It’s a practical, efficient way to keep financial literacy front and center, helping your students become more comfortable and knowledgeable about money.

Financial Literacy Word Wall

Teaching financial literacy in elementary involves a lot of new vocabulary for students to become familiar with. Create a financial literacy word wall in your classroom and share a digital word wall with your students with this vocabulary resource.

Biome Research Google Slides Project

3. Interactive Financial Literacy Games and Apps

Technology plays a huge part in today’s education, and when it comes to financial literacy, games and apps are a game-changer. They turn the sometimes-dry subject of money management into something engaging and relatable for kids.

My favorite financial literacy games and apps:

  • Bankaroo – Designed for kids, this virtual bank teaches about saving, setting goals, and managing a budget. It’s a great introduction to the concepts of money without involving real currency.
  • The Stock Market Game – This app gives students virtual money to invest in real stock market scenarios. It’s an excellent way for them to learn about investing, the stock market, and the economy.
  • Biz Kid$ – An educational website with a wealth of resources, including videos, games, and lesson plans on saving, spending, investing, and budgeting. It complements the public television series, making financial literacy engaging and accessible.
students collaborating with technology

Tips for Integrating These Tools

  • Start with a Demo: Show your class how to use the app or game with a projector or on individual devices. A group walkthrough can spark interest and make the learning curve easier.
  • Structured Lessons vs. Free Exploration: Some apps lend themselves to structured lessons where you can focus on specific learning objectives. Others are perfect for free exploration during downtime or in a learning station setup.
  • Discussion and Reflection: After using these apps, have a class discussion or ask students to reflect in their journals about what they learned. This helps reinforce the concepts and encourages them to apply what they’ve discovered.

By incorporating these digital tools into your teaching, you’re not only making financial literacy more engaging but also preparing students for a world where financial transactions are increasingly digital. These games and apps offer a blend of fun and education, making them a win-win for both teachers and students.

Teaching the basics of financial literacy from a young age is essential for developing lifelong money management skills. A mix of a classroom economy, a financial literacy math word wall, and digital learning tools offer an effective way to cover these topics. By integrating these strategies, you’re setting students up for future financial success. They’ll learn the importance of saving, the wisdom in spending, and the basics of investing in a way that sticks.

3 Fun and Easy Ways to Introduce Financial Literacy