This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable
Thirteen Ed Online
Lesson Plans
Why Does Money Have Value?

Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers

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.

Grade Level:
Grades 6-8

Time Allotment:
3 classes at 45 minutes per class

Subject Matter:
Math, Finance, Economics

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Discuss how money has evolved
  • Analyze different means of exchange
  • Learn why money has value
  • Discuss how to value goods in different currencies
  • Learn the basics of markets
  • Analyze the need for a structure and means for exchanging goods

1. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Principles and Standards for School Mathematics

Number and Operations
  • Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems;
  • Understand meanings of operations and how they relate to one another;
  • Compute fluently and make reasonable estimates.
Problem Solving
  • Build new mathematical knowledge through problem solving;
  • Solve problems that arise in mathematics and in other contexts;
  • Apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to solve problems;
  • Monitor and reflect on the process of mathematical problem solving.
  • Organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking through communication;
  • Communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others;
  • Analyze and evaluate the mathematical thinking and strategies of others;
  • Use the language of mathematics to express mathematical ideas precisely.
  • Create and use representations to organize, record, and communicate mathematical ideas;
  • Select, apply, and translate among mathematical representations to solve problems;
  • Use representations to model and interpret physical, social, and mathematical phenomena.
  • Recognize and use connections among mathematical ideas;
  • Understand how mathematical ideas interconnect and build on one another to produce a coherent whole;
  • Recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics.
2. Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL)

Benchmarks for Economics
  • Standard 1
    Understands that scarcity of productive resources requires choices that generate opportunity costs

  • Standard 3
    Understands the concept of prices and the interaction of supply and demand in a market economy.

  • Standard 4
    Understands the basic features of market structures and exchanges.
This lesson was prepared with the support of Citi Foundation.

Written by: Melissa Donohue