1) What is money used for?
2) How do we earn money?
3) What kind of things can we buy with money?
Activity 1: Wants vs. Needs
The group should be split into two for the two stations. Station 1 (group) sorts physical items into wants and needs. Station 2 (individual) draw/writes their own wants and needs. After five minutes, the groups switch stations.
At the end of this activity, discuss their choices. Ask them questions such as why is one car a want and the other a need? Is a phone a want or a need? Why are some types of foods wants and some needs?
Activity 2: Saving
This is a scenario-based activity. Pick two volunteers: one to track the spending and one to put fake cash into spend and save jars.
The purpose of this scenario is to see how they would spend/save their money, knowing that they cannot buy all three items in the scenario. Emphasize that there is no right or wrong way to spend/save the remaining money, and this is just to understand their thought process on saving/spending.
Walk them through this scenario:
They were given $10 in allowance at the start of the week.
On Monday, they bought a $5 school lunch.
On Tuesday, they bought a $1 sugar cookie.
Now, they want to buy three things: a $1 cookie, $2 hair ties, and a $25 phone case.
Ask them what they would do with the remaining money and discuss the choices that they would make.
Activity 3: Shopping
This is the final activity for the class: a real-life shopping experience. Assign partners and give them a shopping list, $15 in fake money, a wallet (optional), and a shopping bag. They have to buy every single item on their list, which means that they have to compare prices and ensure that they do not spend more than $15. Every list should allow them to pick one final item of choice, so they can see how much money they have left over and spend/save accordingly. After they finish shopping, discuss their choices and how much money they had remaining. Ask what they would do with that money.
Now, complete the final worksheet and discuss the answers.