Engage students with personal finance topics – Fast Lane
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Engage students with personal finance topics

Promising Practice: Include engaging and practical instruction

Financial literacy is essential in today’s complex world. The goal of financial education is to provide students with a foundation of knowledge—and the confidence and skills to apply that knowledge effectively. The classroom is an ideal environment in which to engage students in a relevant way. It is important to allow students to apply their knowledge and grow their skills before costly decisions are made.

Research reveals that there are positive effects to tailoring instruction. In a high school classroom, this means considering what financial decisions students are facing or will soon face. Allow them to practice the skills that they need to make these decisions. Supplementing learning by providing a mix of pedagogical approaches including PowerPoint presentations, lectures, videos, and games can have impactful results for students.

Games can be a great way to represent real-world decision making
  • The Stock Market Game (SMG) is an interactive investing game that includes lesson plans and introductory guides. The SMG is a national program of the SIFMA Foundation, which provides resources to help you teach students the fundamentals of investing. You will need to register for access, but, depending on your location, you will get the game for free or at minimal cost. NextGen also offers a simulation investing game called STAX.
  • Visa has a number of interactive videos and games, including The Payoff. In this online immersion game, students learn about budgeting and other financial basics by helping characters make smart financial decisions. Visa also has financial education apps geared toward teens.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco created Chair the Fed to simulate what happens to unemployment or inflation when the Fed takes different actions.
  • Join the Revolution with the online personal finance game Gen I Revolution, produced by the Council for Economic Education.
  • Financial Entertainment specializes in creating free interactive financial education games. You can find games like Bite Club to supplement learning about retirement. Farm Blitz can enhance lessons about saving and drive home concepts relating to compound interest.
  • The Federal Trade Commission has created a number of games to teach students about fraud, including Beware of Spyware and The Case of the Cyber Criminal.
Consider including resources that allow students to apply skills

This may include having them fill out a tax form, research loans, or maintain a budget. The classroom setting is a great place to practice financial decisions, discuss these decisions, and learn from them before major life decisions are made.

  • EconEdLink provides a bank of activities that you can filter by resource type, subject, grade, and financial literacy standard.
  • Students can learn about taxes through games and simulations with Understanding Taxes, created by the IRS.
  • Students can sign up with America Save$ to promote saving habits.
  • PwC has created interactive modules with Earn Your Future that include videos and additional activities for students. You have to register for an account to gain access, but all the material and resources are free!
  • Virtual Business  Personal Finance is an online simulation that teaches students the basics of personal finance—budgeting, credit, and much more. There is a cost to access the game.