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Lesson Plans


Financial Education
Our original lesson plans are developed by Thirteen Ed Online Master Teachers. Starting with tried-and-true lessons that work in the classroom, our Web-savvy teachers have built Web-based activities that use the rich resources of Thirteen/WNET New York and the Internet.

Each month, we will create new lessons based upon outstanding PBS series and around outstanding Web resources.



Grades 6-8


The lesson plan will teach middle school students why money has value, as well as how money is used as a medium of exchange. The lesson will also include an emphasis on the psychology of why money has value. Students will also consider how different currencies are valued. As an extension activity, they can research different countries' currencies and exports.

Grades 9-12


This lesson plan will teach high school students the role of banks, and the decisions they make to determine when to lend money. Specifically, students will learn about the components of creditworthiness, including how banks might decide who it is safe to lend money to. This lesson plan will teach high school students the basics of credit risk. As an extension activity, students can do research into what kind of business they might like to have one day, and how to position it to be creditworthy.

Grades 7-12


This lesson plan will teach high school students the importance of financial management for a small business. It will help students learn the concepts of business costs, positive cash flow, credit, and proper financial management in running a business. Students will learn the tools for basic financial analysis, and will investigate why the business in the video segments was not successful. As an extension activity, they can brainstorm ideas for a model new business, given what they have learned about the financial needs of a new business.

Grades 7-12


This lesson plan tackles major personal finance issues in young people's futures: career choice, home buying, and budgeting. The lesson plan will teach high school students how education and skills impact career choice. It will also help students learn the basics of budgeting for big expenses, like mortgage payments. Students will learn the about interest and loans, and how those personal finance tools can help them afford larger purchases like homes, while still managing their finances responsibly.

Grades 7-12


In this lesson, students will learn personal financial management strategies based on budgeting. Students will learn the theoretical concepts involved with budgeting and financial management, including income, expenses, savings, and debt.

Grades 7-12


In this lesson, students will develop an understanding of interest, learn how to calculate interest on loans, and comprehend that interest is added onto the principal of the loan and can necessitate additional income for repayment.

Grades 7-12


In this lesson, students will learn about credit cards and credit scores. They will investigate and comprehend the concepts of credit and credit ratings, or scores.

Grades 9-12


In this lesson, students will learn about stocks and understand what it means to buy stock in a company. Students will develop an understanding that investing in a company's stock involves risk, and will also learn factors that make a company risky.

Grades 9-12


In recent U.S. conflicts, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, U.S. military and government officials have kept American reporters away from the front lines. Michael Gordon of The New York Times, Carol Morello of The Washington Post, Sarah Chayes of National Public Radio, and others note that restrictions on their access to information have gone beyond what they've seen in previous conflicts.

Grades 7-12


This lesson plan will teach high school students the basics of credit, including what a credit rating is, and what goes into the analysis that results in a credit rating. Students will also learn about small-business financial management through creating a model business, and having to determine how to take out a loan to expand the business. Students will use the concepts of good credit versus bad credit to understand that good credit is necessary for taking out a loan.

Grades 7-12


This lesson plan will teach high school students the basics of budgeting, including understanding how revenue and expenses interact. The context will be budgeting for college expenses, and will yield information that the student will actually be able to use in real life. Students will put together some different budget scenarios of what it REALLY costs to go to college, using online resources that they research independently.

Grades 9-12


This lesson will focus on the need to plan financially for unexpected disasters, showcasing the devastation that can occur from natural catastrophes. Students will learn the importance of having a financial "safety net" and how savings and budgeting are necessary components of the plan. An analysis of the costs and benefits of insurance, as well as an investigation of private and public funding options, will be conducted by the class.

Grades 9-12


This lesson will focus on priorities for a community's post-disaster economic recovery. Specifically, it will examine the importance of the revival of the cultural, educational, and religious institutions in the Gulf Coast. Students will examine concepts of scarce resources, cost-benefit analysis, opportunity costs, and economic incentives in determining how to rebuild and revitalize a neighborhood.

Grades 9-12


In this lesson, students learn what it means to be a smart consumer by engaging in a level-headed analysis of budget, opportunity costs and self-regulation. Students compare prices within a service field, and weigh the choices of spending money on that item, saving that money, or spending the money on something else. This exercise is a good opportunity to present basic economic concepts.

Grades 9-12


American sports fans are fiercely loyal to their teams and New Yorkers are no exception. New York fans are considered to be among the rudest, loudest, and yet savviest of the breed. After watching the NEW YORK VOICES "New York Sports: Big Shots and Bad Guys" episode, your elementary school students will research some of the players highlighted in the show for information about their athletic prowess, their importance in the city, and their reputations as Big Shots or Bad Guys. Students will create their own sports cards about each athlete. In doing so, they will have the opportunity to work on their research, summarization and writing skills in an interactive and fun way.

Grades 6-8


In this lesson, students will explore the costs of various cell phone plans based on a vignette that appears in the show TV411, Episode #122. The rate structures of cell phone plans represent linear functions that students will compare by graphing in order to determine which plan would result in the greatest savings. Then, students will use these skills to compare checking account options to find the one that best suits their needs. The lesson plan concludes with students comparing various types of banking accounts to determine which one would yield the highest returns if the money saved from the cell phones were placed in different accounts.

Grades 9-12


In this lesson, students watch an Instructional Television (ITV) video and participate in a simulation to learn about supply and demand and how those two forces affect price. The supply and demand simulation will also bring out the concept of self regulation. Students who want objects in high demand will have to decide if they are worth the price.

Grades 4-6


This mini-unit (set of lessons) uses games, easy explanations, and the "Trading Places" episode of the popular animated series CYBERCHASE to teach kids about financial literacy. Kids learn the value of currency and how to save and earn interest. In a key lesson, kids even get to purchase items in their classroom's general store. It's a fun way to learn the importance of being financially literate!

Grades 9-12


In this lesson, students explore the concepts of borrowing and credit with an emphasis on credit cards. Students learn how credit works, why banks and other corporations extend credit, and what credit consumers need to know, including how to preserve their access to credit and how to avoid "credit trouble." Students also consider the real cost of buying on credit, weighing the costs and benefits of credit purchases against the option of budgeting and saving. Finally, students will consider various real offers made by credit providers and decide which offer, among several, is the best.



These financial education lesson plans were made possible through the generous support of Citi Foundation.


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