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Easy Economonics (Part 1) - 3 Ways to Turn Finance Concepts into Classroom Fun


Teaching economics and personal finance does not have to be an exclusive class taught at a specific time.  Actually, integrating concepts that deal with decision-making and money matters into the curriculum is not only easy, it allows student to make connections between the content being taught and “real world” understandings.

Here are some quick and easy techniques to reinforce concepts, extend learning, and enrich lessons.  The concepts addressed, that include bartering, money, and jobs, can be integrated in language arts and social studies classes. The ideas can be adapted for students in grades 3 through to 7.  A picture book that features each of the concepts is included.  The suggested titles are appropriate for all grade levels and can be read to the class in a 5 to 10 minute time frame.


[trading goods and services without the use of money]

  • Discuss with the students circumstances under which a person might trade a working laptop computer for a bottle of water.
  • Invite students to write a haiku that explains the process of bartering. (A haiku is a three-lined poem containing five syllables in the first line, seven in the middle and five again in the last line.)
  • Instruct the students to cut out pictures of two or three things that they would like to own from magazines. They are then to trade the “pretend” things with other students in the class. Discuss the bartering activity. Was it easy? Why or why not?
  • Draw a line down the center of a piece of chart paper. Label one side “Reasons to Barter” and the other “Reasons Not To Barter”.   Solicit ideas from the students and write them under the correct heading.  Note that it is possible for an idea to fit under both sides.Literature Link: We’re Riding on a Caravan: An Adventure on the Silk Road by Laurie Krebs. Barefoot Press, 2005.

Enjoying the direction of these ideas? Check back for Part 2 of this series, which will include ideas to address money and jobs in the classroom and at home!

Posted by Lynne Farrell Stover in Teacher, General ← Previous Post Next Post →

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