The students listen to a short story introducing them to Penny and Nicholas, the "Money Kids." They discuss ways in which people receive money - through earning income or receiving gifts. They are introduced to the concept of human capital (work skills) and the relationship between people's ability to earn income and the education and training they have. The students also produce a paper chain representing ways in which they have received money.
The students discuss goods and services that satisfy people's wants, and they construct a spyglass to help them identify goods and services at school. They also construct Busy Town, a model business community. Using a puzzle, they are introduced to the concept of entrepreneurship and its relationship to the resources used to produce goods and services.
This lesson focuses on two types of money: paper money and coins. The students identify money and its value (its buying power) while participating in a money-matching activity. They estimate the number of coins in a can; then they determine the exact number of coins and their value in terms of dollars and cents.
The students listen to a short story that introduces difficulties involved in making choices. Using a grid, the students discuss costs and benefits as they make choices. (The class uses an apron as a prop in making decisions, here and in future lessons.) The lesson introduces the concept of opportunity cost, defined as the best alternative given up when a choice is made.
The students create a banner depicting choices they make and the opportunity costs they incur. They learn about saving money in order to satisfy a want. They make and decorate a special vest. The vest serves as a prop which they use in considering choices and opportunity costs.
The class hears a story about Nicholas's family as it copes with an unexpected expense. In an activity designed to simulate an experience of scarcity, the students try to fit themselves into a space that is too small to accommodate them. They learn about depositing and withdrawing money as they participate in a savings game. They learn that good savers often have a plan for how and when to save.
In a simulation activity, the students set a goal and save money to achieve that goal. They discuss the costs and benefits of saving by completing a decision grid. Using a magic mirror, they gaze into the future and imagine things they will want to have when they are adults. They learn that people must plan for future wants.
The students discover that they are consumers. As they fill their pockets with pictures of things they want, they learn that consumers want both goods and services. As they try to help Nicholas choose a pet, and reflect on his decision, they also learn that making decisions about spending is not easy.
The students create want webs (configurations of illustrations and notations) for a hamster and then for themselves. They simulate the experience of spending money in exchange for goods and services when they use dimes to become consumers at a school carnival.
The students explore planned and unplanned spending. They construct traffic lights and use them as props in describing consumers' spending decisions as planned or unplanned. They discuss the costs and benefits of spending decisions.
The students explore the role of advertising in the marketplace. They examine various forms of advertising and discover why companies advertise their products. They watch television commercials in order to answer questions about products advertised and consumer wants. They create their own commercials and present them to the class.
The students examine opportunities and responsibilities associated with borrowing. They experience an opportunity to borrow time for an extended activity and repay the borrowed time the next day. They analyze the borrowing decisions of Penny, Nicholas, and their classmates, determining who is a responsible borrower and who is not.
This lesson focuses on the relationship between borrowers and lenders, from the perspective of the lender. Using the Pocket Decision Apron as a prop, the students explore the costs and benefits of decisions about lending. In a simulated lending activity, they evaluate borrowers' credit history and discover the importance of trust between borrowers and lenders.
The students explore uses of credit. They assume the role of the Wild Wanter and determine the amount of credit needed to satisfy their wants when income is limited. They construct a Pay Cube to show some of the ways consumers pay for goods and services.
The lesson introduces budgets and budgeting. The students participate in an activity in which they balance a budget by manipulating income and expense cards.
Participating in a game, the students demonstrate their knowledge of basic money management concepts, including income, spending, saving, and credit. They review these concepts and write about what they have learned, using a graphic organizer.