Lesson Plan

Basic Money

Students will be able to identify money and its worth, why it’s needed, and how it’s used
Natalie P.
La Sierra University
Riverside, United States
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My Grades 6
My Subjects Math

I will be able to say what money is and why we use/need it

I will work together with my partner(s) to demonstrate I know how much coins and bills are worth

I will show my teacher in a whole class quiz that I know how to count coins

Grades 1 – 3
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Presenting & Conversing

Activity: Presenting

I’m going to show the students real money and ask them to describe what I’m holding (a dollar, a bill, money, paper etc.). Then explain that this is called a dollar bill (or whatever amount I’m holding). Then I’ll ask what else money could be used for (glue it to a paper to make a picture, fold it into a boat etc.). I’ll explain that money has value and that it can be used to buy things we want and need. I’ll be explaining the different denominations for each bill and coin used in class and how students can use addition/subtraction to add or take away from money to make a certain amount needed to buy what they want. (Ex: needing 10 dimes or 4 quarters to make a dollar, or 5 dollar bills to equal 5 dollars). Then I’ll group students together and ask them how they’ve seen their parents, friends, family member use money.

2 Exploring – who has the most money?

Activity: Exploring

Students will be given an envelope containing random coins and dollar bills that have been placed in them prior to class starting. The class will be divided into small groups (I’ll be randomly choosing students prior to class into preselected groups) of 4, depending on the class size, and given an envelope containing money. Students will open the envelop and count the money and compare how much money everyone has (who has the most, the least, the same amount etc.). I will explain that having more coins or bills doesn’t mean more money, but how much each is worth says how much they will have. –collect the envelops and randomly pass them out and see if everyone is on the same page (repeat the activity as deemed needed).

3 Why do we need money?

Activity: Conversing

Students will name different types of money, while making a list of what everyone says and defining it as either a coin or a bill. Students can as well identify foreign currency as forms of money if they choose. Accept all responses, but eventually direct them to understanding that not all currency is accepted in the US as a form of payment. Students will share if they have ever traded something with someone for something they wanted. Ex. A piece of candy for a sticker, or a toy for a bag of chips. Students will be told that trading was the way people from back in the day used to get the things they needed or wanted. Trading is still used today, but money replaced it for the most part. Students will be shown that when we buy things, those items can be categorized as goods or services. 

4 Ways to spend money activity

Activity: Debating

Students will decide if a purchase is a good or service. Using the same group of 4 from earlier, students will be given a baggie with 10 pictures that I have previously cut into sections prior to the exercise. The students will be told that these items cost money and are either goods or services. Goods are things we buy to touch, keep and use, while services are things done for us. Students will be challenged to separate things into their right categories.

To be a bit more challenging do not explain the difference between the categories, simply tell them that the picture represents ways to spend money, and have the groups separate them into two groups.


-The pictures I will use will be: a tricycle, a piece of food, pair of jeans, library book, riding the bus, getting a haircut, movie, going to the doctors for a checkup, using the printer at school, cellphone

5 Individual practice time

Practice before the Quiz:

I’ll be providing students with personal laptops the school has to loan to teachers for in class activities. Students can opt out and use their cellular devices if they feel more comfortable with something hand held.

As long as students have a basic understanding of coins, their values, and can read a few sentences, they won’t need much assistance. Student will show they understand money by quizzing themselves on a low stress app. Students will practice counting by ones, fives, 10s, and 25s (coins and bills). Students will fill the piggy bank with the required amount of money using different combinations of coins, entering the amount, and adding up a group of coins.

6 Group Evaluation time!

Activity: Assessing

After enough practice time on Freefall Money, I’ll be asking students to part take in a whole class quiz. Using the same groups from the earlier exercise, I’ll be handing out individual white boards and expo markers to each group. I’ll be asking about 7-10 word problems that I will read aloud to the students regarding money. Ex: how many 5 dollar bills do you need to make 25 dollars? They’ll have a minute to work together on each question to get the answer and raise their white boards the moment I ask for them to show what they got. This exercise will show where students are proficient at, as well as where I may need to go over and focus a little more without the pressure of here’s what you got out of 7 or 10 questions.