Lesson Plan

Concepts of Money: Saving Money

Students learn the fundamental concepts of money and demonstrate understanding of saving money and compound interest.
Jeremy N.
Common Sense Education Program Coordinator, Omaha Public Schools School district administrator
Omaha Public Schools
Omaha, NE
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Students will be able to use basic terminology and identify the characteristics of saving money.  

Students will be able to explain how to shop for a bank based on APY.

Students will be able to design saving strategies to ensure a positive personal financial situation.

Grades 8 - 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Anticipatory Set

Activity: Exploring

The teacher provides a student prompt and provides think time.  The prompt is an image of a piggy bank.

Students will be directed to write three items that come to mind when they relfect on the image.

This can be dome on a tablet device if available, or on index cards or standard paper



2 Direct Instruction

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The teacher will have students watch the CommonCraft.com video titled "Saving Money: Compound Interest."  

The teacher instructs students to use Cornell Notes to capture the main ideas of the video.  Students can access the cornell notes guide via a google doc on a teacher website using a device or by the traditional paper handout and pen/pencil.  On the Cornell Notes sheet, the teacher provides 5 key words or prompts to guide students on what to look for.

During the video, Students will be looking for a minimum of three main ideas from the video and no more than five and inputting them into their cornell notes. While inputting their answers to the prompts, students should be paraphrasing and avoid complete sentences.

The teacher can play the video a second time of students need another viewing to ensure the cornell notes requirements are met.

Once all students have captured the minimum of three main ideas on their cornell notes, students are given 3-5 minutes to draft a brief summary of their learning at the bottom of the page.  The summary is at the bottom of the Cornell Notes sheet.  This is to be written in the students own words, in complete sentences, and must have a minimum of three sentences.


3 Shared Instruction

Activity: Conversing

The teacher will have students share their learning in small groups in a cooperative learning activity called "Talking Chips."

1. The teacher provides the discussion topic (Saving Money).

2. Students have equal numbers of chips (pieces of paper, poker chips, or other can be used for chips).

3. Any student begins the discussion, placing one of his/her chips in the center of the table as he/she speaks.  Students can discuss anything related to the topic of Saving Money from the viedo or their personal lives.

4.  Any student with a chip continues discussing, using his/her chips.

5.  Once a student has used all his/her chips, the student cannot contribute again until everyone has used his/her chips..  

**When all chips are used, teammates can collect their chips  and resume their discussion until the teacher stops the activity.

4 Shared Instruction


The teacher will have students access and play the game SPENT on playspent.org.  Students will get a first look at poverty through game play.  Student can play the game 2-3 times to see how far they can get through a typical month if living in poverty.  

Once students have SPENT time with this interactive, the teacher will lead a discussion to link the topic of Saving Money with Poverty.  The teacher can ask:  How can Saving Money help prevent poverty?  What are some of the dilemmas in the game that could've been overcome if you had money in savings?  etc.

5 Independent Practice

Students Will use GlogsterEDU to create an interactive poster on Saving Money Strategies.  Students will be expected to compare APYs of atleast 2 different banks, have a mimimum of 3 text narratives from their Cornell Notes, and 1 text narrative on a take away from the SPENT game (Poverty Avoidance through Saving) and embed a video from you tube they found that is on Saving Money.  

Students will share their Glogster posters with the teacher and fellow students.  They can also share them with parents if possible.