Middle School Resources

Lesson plans and classroom activities in the middle school section are appropriate for students in grades five through eight. Specific grade ranges are noted for each activity.

Resource Description Grade Level Key Concepts
Downsize Your Debt This lesson gives students an overview of the problems that can result from being in financial debt. "The Dangerous Pet" PowerPoint, a creative story that highlights dealing with a monster named Debt, is shared and discussed. Students learn about budgeting as they plan ways to earn money in order to pay off their debt.
5-8 debt, interest, credit, budget, income
It's not Your Father's Farm Bill This lesson introduces the Agricultural Act of 2014, better known as the Farm Bill. After an overview of the bill highlights, students participate in a role play to better understand the bill's effects on different groups of citizens within a community.
7-12 Production, entrepreneurship, revenue, profit, insurance subsidies
Common Cents: Preparing Kids for Their Life's Road Trip In today's world, kids may have even more difficulty choosing an occupation as additional career opportunities have evolved and expanded in our complex world. Learn what you can do to help prepare your kids for their future.
K-12 Careers
Show Me the Shreds This interactive lesson walks students through the currency process from production to final shredding. They learn how the fitness of a bill is determined, the average lifespan, and how bills are recycled.
6-12 Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Treasury, Federal Reserve Bank, fit/unfit currency, counterfeit
Common Cents: Laying the foundation for responsible credit use Responsible credit use develops through a foundation of strong personal finance principles and an understanding of the costs and benefits of credit. An awareness of the CARD Act will help your teen learn the rights and responsibilities of consumers using credit. A "Credit Clue" quiz will reinforce these concepts.
7-12 credit, debt
Banker's Resource Guide This guide suggests resources for bankers to use in presenting financial concepts in the classroom. These resources are divided into elementary, middle and high school levels and include lesson plans, role plays, activities and Traveling Trunk materials.
K-12 personal finance
Common Cents: Resolutions help kids  Parents can help their children develop financial goals by using the "Go-Getter Goal Setter" plan. Each of the five planner areas (saving, earning, spending, donating and learning) contains a saying to illustrate the goal and help kids remember its importance.
K-8 saving, price, budget, income, donating

Common Cents: Hitting the Books by Surfing the Web

Use these updated resources to help students and parents stay current in economics and personal finance.
K-12 economics, personal finance
Common Cents: Watch and Learn Help kids develop healthy money personalities through positive role modeling by parents when dealing with financial matters.
K-12 saving, spending, money management
Common Cents: Payday on Report Card Day? Child psychologists, parents and teachers have long debated the pros and cons of the money-for-grades issue. What are the costs and benefits of using incentives for grades?
K-8 Personal finance, incentives
Common Cents: Investments – The gifts that keep on giving This article reviews the different investment options for youth, including savings accounts, certificates of deposit, saving bonds, 529 savings plans and stocks. An investment word match activity is included.
5-12 investments, savings, CDs, savings bonds, stocks
Common Cents: The Art of Negotiation This article discusses the importance of negotiation, from the early days of bartering to present-day wage increases. Strategies to build negotiation techniques are given, including sample role plays to develop this skill.
K-12 negotiation, bartering
Common Cents: Oh Where, Oh Where has Our Work Ethic Gone? This article discusses that the characteristics of good work ethic, including consistent effort, perseverance and positive attitude, are not as prevalent as they once were in kids. Suggestions to develop a better work ethic at home are given. A "Work Habits Checklist" for kids is included.
K-12 work
Common Cents: Beyond the Lemonade Stand This article discusses kids as entrepreneurs and gives steps to develop a business plan for a successful kid venture. Suggestions for marketing the business and providing good customer service are shared.
K-12 entrepreneur, business, goods , service
Bite-sized Economic Activities Teacher Talk Planner 2010-2011: This spiral bound resource provides an economic or personal finance concept per month for educators that can be incorporated into the K-12 classroom easily to be used for short lessons or review.

economics, personal finance

Another Bite of Economic Activites Teacher Talk Planner 2011-2012: This spiral bound resource provides an economic or personal finance concept per month for educators that can be incorporated into the K-12 classroom easily to be used for short lessons or review.

economics, personal finance

Bite-sized Economic Activities 2012-2013 Teacher Talk Planner 2012-2013: This spiral bound resource provides an economic or personal finance concept per month for educators that can be incorporated into the K-12 classroom easily to be used for short lessons or review.

economics, personal finance

Professor Finance and the Fed Boy Meet the Catastrophe Clan


This role play introduces students to the use and misuse of credit in a humorous format and emphasizes the importance of wise financial decision making.
7-10 credit, credit history, credit report, interest rate, payday lending,
To Pay the Price This lesson introduces students to online banking and electronic methods of payment through a quiz show role play. It explains security measures available to consumers as they use the internet for banking transactions. Students learn how businesses and the government use electronic payments and how the Federal Reserve System helps process these payments.
5-8 debit, credit, online banking, electronic payment, encryption, identity theft,
PIN number, direct deposit, Automated Clearing House (ACH), Federal
Reserve System
Common Cents: 'Tis the season for smart spending Get your kids in the habit of comparison shopping and encourage smart spending. This practice will help them budget and avoid impulse buys, developing these skills for adulthood.
K-12 saving, budget, price, comparison shopping
Common Cents: Tough times are an opportunity to teach children financial concepts During the recent economic downturn, one of the more difficult tasks for parents is explaining their financial situation to children. These trying financial times can be a segue to help children become more financially literate.
K-12 decision-making, budget, unemployment, income, expense, saving


Common Cents: Financial responsibility begins in childhood

Parents can teach kids the importance of saving money by helping children visualize financial concepts in their own frame of reference. A child may not be able to define "opportunity cost" or "compound interest," but sharing children's books may help them understand basic financial concepts.
K-12 money, saving, spending, income, saving account
Fifty Nifty Econ Cards Fifty Nifty Econ Cards are designed for elementary and middle school students to assist them in developing a knowledge base of economic and personal finance words. The accompanying Teacher Resource Guide provides activities and games to help teachers incorporate economic vocabulary into the school day through language, math, social studies and art. Also available in Spanish. 
K-8 basic economic and personal finance words
Fed Detective Traveling Trunk The Fed Detective Traveling Trunk has been created for elementary and middle school students to develop an awareness of the Federal Reserve Bank and to share resources available to teachers on money and banking. The trunk includes hands-on artifacts with related talking points, as well as lesson plans and activities to teach money concepts. The trunk resources offer instruction in economics and personal finance, and include extension activities in math, reading and social studies areas.
3-8 banking, money, Federal Reserve Bank
Payment Parliament This lesson introduces students to different methods of payment for goods and services. The costs and benefits of each payment method are explored in a role play of a round table discussion titled “Payment Parliament.” Students compare use of each payment option and learn how the Federal Reserve System processes all forms of payments for consumers.
5-8 credit, debit, electronic payment, Federal Reserve System, payment methods
There's No Business Like Bank Business This lesson, with the accompanying role play, introduces students to the benefits of saving money in a bank. It explains earning interest on savings, as well as paying interest for a loan. Students learn how a bank receives its money supply and how it operates as a business.
3-5 saving, account, deposit, withdrawal, interest, loan, profit, reserves,
Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Federal Reserve Bank
Teaching Tips: Is Your Bank Account Safe? "Teaching Tips" provide ways that teachers can integrate current issues and research into their classrooms using Federal Reserve research. In the President's Message, Thomas Hoenig, the president of the Kansas City Fed, discusses what happens when a bank fails and how the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) steps in following a bank's closing. Read and discuss the article in class using the direct discussion questions and extension activities.
5-8 banking, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, liquidate
Money Museum Lessons These lessons focus on the Federal Reserve as the central bank as well as commercial banks and why both are important to the U.S. economy.
5-8 savings, interest, deposits, loans, income, assets, reserves, Federal Reserve Bank
Early Forms of Money Lesson This lesson can be used with the items in the Traveling Trunk. Through this lesson, students learn about the four characteristics of money (portability, divisibility, durability, acceptability) and why currency and coin are the forms of money used today.
4-8 money, currency
Teacher Activities for Currency Cards These activities can be used with the set of currency cards included in the Traveling Trunk. Students learn about the features, symbolism and security measures used in designing currency. Extension activities are also included.
3-8 money, currency
Money Museum Fun Guide

Join Jay the Eagle in this fun guide of games and brainteasers about money. Use any combination of the activities and word games to have fun when learning about money.

3-8 money, Federal Reserve Bank