Money Matters

Barbette Flennoy Joseph Stockton
4420 N. Beacon
Chicago IL 60613
(312) 534-2450


The goal of this lesson is to introduce the students to different countries'
money and the United States monetary value of a penny, a nickel, a dime, and a
quarter. This lesson can be used for primary and intermediate students.

Materials Needed:

-World Map -Butcher Block Paper (white/brown)
-Globe -Plastic Clay Tools/Cookie Cutters
-Play-Doh/Clay (4 different colors) -Play Food (milk, eggs, beans, etc.)
-Attri-Cubes -Building Blocks
-Colored Markers/Crayons -White/Manilla Construction Papers
-Legos -Styrofoam Trays (10)


Using the materials listed above, a marvelous dimension of the world of money
can be revealed. Most of the time primary students lack an understanding of
money and how it works. This lesson gives students a chance to recognize that
there is very little that can be done without money.

Begin the lesson by writing the names of the following on the blackboard
or an easel:
Algeria (Dinar) Argentina (Peso)
Austria (Schilling) France (franc)
India (rupee) Israel (pound)
Italy (lira) Japan (yen)
Spain (peseta) Germany (duetch marc)
United States (dollar)

Introduce the students to the names of the countries first. If your students
have prior knowledge of the countries, ask them what kinds of things they think
about when they hear the names. Use the world map and the globe to show where
the countries are located. Associate the countries name with their monetary
value. It is not necessary to go into great detail unless you wish.

Ask the students a series of questions about money. Example-What do you
need to get a lollipop from the store? What do you have to have to get a car?
Why? Where did your parents get your bicycle? How did they get it? There may
be a variety of answers which should all lead back to money.

Next, separate the students into three groups. One group will be the "Money
Factory". The second group will be the "Construction Workers". The third group
will be the "Grocery Store".

Each of the groups are responsible for a project. The first group has the
responsibility of making money. They are to use four different colors of clay
to create coins with the value of one cent, five cents, ten cents, and a quarter
(red clay coins can be pennies, blue can be nickels, etc.). Next, instruct the
students to make five groups of twenty so that there are at least 100 coins for
each value. Finally, they need to place a sample on a board where the rest of
the class can see them.

The second group is responsible for building the grocery store and the money
factory. They should use the legos, blocks, and/or attri-cubes for their
project. Have the students count the number of pieces (if this is a
kindergarten group, they may need assistance). Now the students should give
four of the colors that they use, values of a penny, a nickel, a dime, and a
quarter. Finally, they should tabulate the total cost of each project and write
it down.

The third group is responsible for setting up the grocery store. Using the
crayons, butcher block paper, play food, and construction paper, they can begin
to set up a store. They can make a list of forty food items, draw pictures of
twenty items, make "for sale" signs, and give each item a price which is not
more in value than twenty-five cents.

Now, you are ready to move to the second stage of the lesson. The money factory
group should set aside twenty coins and divide the rest among themselves. They
should take the money that they set aside and go and pay for/on their factory at
the construction workers site. Next, they should go to the grocery store and
buy some food.

The grocery store group should have one or two cashiers and someone to bag the
groceries (this is a fantasy/pretend store so do not worry about them having
enough play food for everyone). While the store is in action, one of the group
members can go to the construction workers and pay for/on the store.

Finally, the construction workers can close shop and go to the grocery store
with their money.


Basically, there are many ways to expand the lesson. Discuss what was taking
place. This is a whole language lesson that incorporates many things. The
community workers, grocery store, the treasury, foreign countries, foreign
currency, etc. It is possible to take this to higher levels if you wish and it
shows that "money matters".
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