It’s time to head back to school, and one of the first things I like to get started with upper elementary students is project-based learning. PBL is not just handing the kids an activity to do in a group; it’s so much more. Project-based learning is really about solving a problem using critical thinking and creativity. I like to use real-world problems that incorporate standards in multiple content areas. One of my favorites is helping students learn how to budget using math skills and incorporating writing. Here are some back to school budgeting activities using project-based learning that you’ll love to try in your classroom!
INTRODUCE A BUDGETARY PROBLEM.
Give your students something they have to plan for back to school. Consider a class trip, a makeover for the classroom, school supplies, or a new club. No matter what the task, the students will need to budget for supplies and possibly services. You may want to consider giving different groups different categories. For example, one group may plan a field trip to the zoo while another group may create a classroom book club. After introducing their task, start by giving your students a digital check (with their allotted budget) and planning pages included in this project-based learning activity
Using online resources, teach your students how to comparison shop for items and services needed to solve their budgetary problems. Sharing shopping resources and skills needed for comparing prices (figuring sale prices with percentages off, for example) are some of the math skills that are valuable in this challenging yet fun project. When you have a digital price comparison guide and logs to share with your students, they’ll be able to organize and find the best deals for their budget!
Whether your students are planning a field trip or a class party that they need to budget for, it’s really important for them to reflect on the process with words. Share reflection sheets for your students to fill out during their planning and shopping process.
SHARE THE PROJECT.
One of the biggest components of PBL is sharing with an audience. Invite parents, other teachers, and administrators to see your students’ final projects. The sense of pride your students will feel when they have the stage and share their voice is a perfect way to start back to school!
Budgeting and money may be a new concept for many of your upper elementary learners. Add these titles to your classroom library to incorporate into back to school budgeting activities using project-based learning.
The Richest Kids In America: How They Earn It, How They Spend It, How You Can TooHow to Turn $100 into $1,000,000: Earn! Save! Invest!Kid Start-Up: How YOU Can Become an EntrepreneurFinance 101 for Kids: Money Lessons Children Cannot Afford to MissThe Kids’ Money Book: Earning, Saving, Spending, Investing, DonatingDo I Need It? Or Do I Want It?: Making Budget Choices (Lightning Bolt Books ® _ Exploring Economics)
Start your school year with these back to school budgeting activities using project-based learning to help your students develop the right mindset when it comes to financial literacy. They’ll also be working together to create, collaborate, and communicate right from the start!
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