Lesson plan

Money Matters

Take your students on a virtual shopping trip to allow them to explore the importance of spending money wisely.
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Students will be able to create a spending budget for a week and determine the difference between wants and needs.

(10 minutes)
  • Tell students that today they will be learning about budgets.
  • Define the term budget as the amount of money being earned and being used over a set period of time.
(20 minutes)
  • Write an example on the board. For example: Becky has $100 to spend on clothes. She needs to make two complete outfits. How much money should she budget for each piece of clothing, assuming she needs a top, bottoms, shoes, socks, coat, scarf, and hat for each outfit?
  • Talk the students through each item of clothing and how much Becky should spend to make sure she has enough for two complete outfits.
  • Ask students if any pieces of clothing are unnecessary. Discuss the difference between needs and wants. For example: Becky may want a scarf and hat because they are nice accessories, but does she really need them? Becky will only need them if she lives in a cold environment.
(30 minutes)
  • Give each student a My Grocery List worksheet, a sales flyer, and a calculator.
  • Tell students they have $50 to spend on groceries for the week to feed themselves and one other person. Tell them that they cannot go over $50, as it is their budget.
  • Have students use their materials to create their grocery list.
  • During this time, circulate the room to ask questions about needs and wants based on the items you find on the students' lists.
(30 minutes)
  • Have students analyze their list and circle all items that are true needs and mark out the items that were wants, such as junk food.
  • Have them use the circled items to prepare a menu for the week.
  • On the back side of the menu paper, have students write about whether or not they made good spending choices and why or why not.
  • Enrichment: For advanced students, have them create a budget for a weekend away at an amusement park. Tell them they have $300 to spend but must include tickets to attractions, food, lodging, and transportation costs in the budget.
  • Support: For students that need additional support, supply them with a list of food items and their cost to work with instead of having them determine use a sales ad.
(20 minutes)
  • Give the students the following task to assess their knowledge: Using only $20, choose items for a healthy dinner from the sales flyer. Make sure you only purchase needs, and not wants.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask students these reflection questions: What are the differences between needs and wants? Why is it important to have a budget when you do a simple task like going to the grocery store?

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