Financial Literacy Resource Center
Lesson Plans for Elementary School Educators
Investopedia is committed to extending our reach and resources to schools and underserved communities that have traditionally been left out of the conversation. That’s why we’ve created free content and materials to support today’s investing environment, found here in the Financial Literacy Resource Center and our new newsletter, The Classroom Investor.
In the table below, you’ll find downloadable lesson plans filled with guidance and worksheets that can be used to supplement classroom or at-home learning for children in grades K-5. There are eight lessons per grade, and each lesson plan builds on the preceding one. The subject matter also gets more detailed as students get older. (Simply right-click on each lesson to be taken to a new tab, and then you can download the content from there.)
Keep scrolling, and you'll find teen-focused content, too. While this is only the beginning, these resources will help anyone become an engaged and educated participant in the ever-evolving financial markets.
|Kindergarten||First Grade||Second Grade||Third Grade||Fourth Grade||Fifth Grade|
|#1||Needs & Wants||Earning, Spending, Saving||Needs & Wants||Money Traits||Financial Literacy Basics||Exploring Careers|
|#2||Needs & Wants||Opportunity Cost||Goods & Services||Key Money Concepts||The Stock Market||Jobs & Money|
|#3||Needs & Wants||Producers & Consumers||Producers & Consumers||Earning Money Deep Dive||The Stock Market||Profession vs. Job|
|#4||Community Helpers||Spending Money||Types of Income||Save, Spend, or Share?||The Stock Market||Training & Education|
|#5||Community Helpers||Why People Spend Money||Education & Income||What is a Budget?||Evaluating Stocks||Skills in the Workplace|
|#6||Classroom Economy||How People Spend Money||Research Project||Fixed vs. Variable Expenses||Active Investors||Writing a Resume|
|#7||Making Money Decisions||Savings Goals||Research Project||Borrowing Money||Bonds & Commodities||Outline a Career Path|
|#8||Show What I Know||Show What I Know||Presentation Day||Let's Make a Budget||Investing Strategies||Show Your Career Path|
The content within the lesson plans above was crafted using guidance from educators within public schools and nonprofits in the U.S., and Kara Cordell of Oklahoma City Public Schools served as an invaluable resource in content creation. The Investopedia team piloted the content at Timber Lakes Elementary School in Orlando, Florida.
Financial Education for Teens
Financial Education for Kids
What is financial literacy?
Financial literacy is the ability to understand and effectively use various skills and concepts, including personal financial management, budgeting, and investing. A strong foundation of financial literacy—especially one that starts at an early age—can help support various life goals, such as saving for education or retirement, using debt responsibly, and running a business.
What is the Financial Literacy Resource Center?
This section of Investopedia is a free, digital library for educators, teachers, and parents looking for materials to help them teach the next generation of investors. Linked in the table on this page are downloadable lesson plans, worksheets, and guidance that can be used to supplement classroom or at-home learning for children in grades K-5. Investopedia has also curated a collection of articles to help set teens (grades 9-12) up for success as they start working and/or pursue higher education.
What topics are covered in this resource center?
The K-5 lessons plans available to download from this library cover the fundamentals of personal finance and investing, as appropriate for each age level. These lesson plans have been reviewed by licensed educators, and used by Timberlakes Elementary School in Orlando, Florida. The articles in this library for parents and teachers of teens (grades 9-12) focus primarily on building and using credit, investing, digital money management (e.g. using Venmo or Apple Pay), and real-world applications of personal finance topics.
Will there be more financial literacy topics covered in the future?
Yes! Investopedia is committed to making financial literacy accessible for everyone. As more lesson plans and articles become available, we will update this resource page. Follow us on social media @investopedia, and bookmark this webpage to stay looped into the latest.
Where else can I find financial education resources?
In addition to our content library, the Investopedia Stock Simulator is an instructional tool for students (or yourself) to practice trading and investing in stocks in a safe, simulated environment. We also have a monthly newsletter for educators, “The Classroom Investor,” to give context to financial news, new product developments, and share additional free teaching resources.
Financial literacy is the ability to understand and effectively use various financial skills, including personal financial management, budgeting, and investing. When an individual is financially literate, you have the foundation of a relationship with money, and it is a lifelong journey of learning.
A credit score is a number from 300 to 850 that rates a consumer or individual’s creditworthiness. It is based on credit history: number of open accounts, total levels of debt, repayment history, and other factors. The higher the score, the better a borrower looks to potential lenders, because lenders use credit scores to evaluate the probability that an individual will repay loans in a timely manner.
Interest is the monetary charge for borrowing money—generally expressed as a percentage, such as an annual percentage rate (APR). Interest is the amount of money a lender or financial institution receives for lending out money. And interest can also refer to the amount of ownership a stockholder has in a company, usually expressed as a percentage.
A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency secured by cryptography, which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend. The most commonly known cryptocurrency is Bitcoin. Many cryptocurrencies are decentralized networks based on blockchain technology. Generally, as of March 2022, cryptocurrencies are not issued by any central authority, rendering them theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation.
Diversification is a risk management strategy where one chooses a variety of investments for their portfolio. A diversified portfolio contains a mix of distinct asset types, such as stocks and bonds, in an attempt at limiting exposure to any single asset or risk. The idea is that different kinds of assets will, on average, yield higher long-term returns and lower the risk of any individual holding or security.
An asset class is a group of investments that have similar characteristics and are subject to the same laws and regulations. Historically, the three main asset classes have been equities (stocks), fixed income (bonds), and cash equivalent or money market instruments.
An import is a good or service that was produced in one country, and bought in another one. Imports, along with exports, are one of the key components of international trade. If the value of a country's imports exceeds the value of its exports, the country has a negative balance of trade, also known as a trade deficit.
The term "security" in finance refers to a fungible, negotiable financial instrument that holds some type of monetary value. Securities are used to raise capital in public and private markets. The primary types of securities are equity—which provides ownership rights to holders—debt, and hybrids, which combine aspects of debt and equity.
A mobile wallet stores credit card or debit card information on a mobile device like your phone, a tablet, or smartwatch. With a mobile wallet, one can buy things online or in stores more easily. They may also be more secure than physical payment cards because of the technology they use to protect your account information.
Simply put, compound interest is the interest you earn on interest. It is calculated on both the initial principal and the accumulated interest from previous periods. Compounding multiplies money at an accelerated rate and the greater the number of compounding periods, the greater the compound interest will be.
Consumer debt includes personal debts that are owed as a result of purchasing goods that are used for individual or household consumption. Examples of consumer debt include credit card debt, student loans, auto loans, mortgages, and payday loans. These can be extended by a bank, the federal government, and credit unions.
Fintech, or financial technology, is used to describe new technology that seeks to improve and simplify the delivery and use of financial services. Fintech is utilized by companies, business owners, and consumers, in an effort to better manage financial operations, processes, and lives. Examples of fintech applications include robo-advisors, payment apps, and investment apps, among others.
Net worth is the value of the assets a person or corporation owns, minus the liabilities they owe. It is an important metric to gauge a company's health, providing a useful snapshot of its current financial position. Net worth has also become popular in everyday culture, with lists ranking the people with the highest net worth as well as the net worth of various celebrities.