Unit Plan: Financial Literacy

Math / Grade 4-7

Big Ideas

1. Number represents and describes quantity: Parts of wholes can be represented by fractions and decimals

2. Developing computational fluency comes from a strong sense of number.


  • Monetary calculations, percent calculations, value of money
  • Consumer math, budgeting, monetary calculations
Essential Questions

Students will keep considering…

  • Why is money important?
  • How do values determine spending habits ?
  • What is financial responsiblty?
  • How is worth determined?
Evaluative Criteria


Teachers will be assessing students’ ability to:

  • perform whole number and decimal monetary operations
  • make reasonable estimates
  • make logical and realistic spending goals
  • create a working budget
  • solve problems using percent calculations (at higher levels)
  • make thoughtful reflections about the earning and spending choices they make, that relate to their personal values and beliefs




  • students can work at any of the grade levels, to suit their level of skill and understanding
  • budget sheets can be scaffolded for individual students and levels
  • the Chore Chart for Grades 5-7 can be differentiated in terms of the value of each chore
  • values for the chores can be pre-assigned, or you can have a discussion surrounding what each chore should be worth
  • values at the higher level could include algebraic expressions (i.e. a base chore would be worth n, while other chores could be worth something in relation to n)
  • forgetting to do a chore could have a negative impact on a budget (a way to incorporate negative integers and the concept of debt)
  • technology connections could include using Excel to create budgets, as well as various iPad budgeting apps



  • all levels: create a graph to represent your budget (pictographs, line graphs, bar graphs, circle graphs; discuss which graphs would be appropriate and how you might use them)
  • all levels: turn your budget into a board game to demonstrate the concepts of earning and spending by moving forward and backward on the game board; play The Game of Life and Monopoly with students
  • Grade 7 level: calculate what percent of your earnings are going to each item/category in your budget
Monitoring Progress

Formative Assessment throughout:

During class discussions, small group discussions and one on one conversations.

Exit slips after various lessons.  Possible frame could be “The most important thing to know about …. is…”

Review of the work students do during the thinking routines.

Assessment of practice activities and students’ ability to perform the monetary calculations.

Imbed “What Makes You Say That?” (Making Thinking Visible Routine) into all class and individual discussions.



  • The History of Money: From Bartering to Banking by Martin Jenkins
  • National Geographic Kids Everything Money: A Wealth of Facts, Photos and Fun by Kathy Furgang



  • Math Makes Sense Grades 4 and 7


  • Making Thinking Visible by Ron Ritchhart and Mark Church




How will teachers and their students reflect on and evaluate the completed project?

Next time I teach this unit I would…

Allow students to select the short stories that link to Identity.

My students needed:


Potential Student Misunderstanding:

Unit Overview








Financial Literacy



Unit Overview

This unit will explore the concepts of financial literacy and financial responsibility.  It is a progressive unit, with many entry points for students at all intermediate grade levels.  Specifically, students will explore the question of why money is important, and the specific concepts of earning, spending, donating and saving, as well as how their own personal values and beliefs could impact the decisions they make with money.  All of the learning tasks will lead to the culminating project where students will create a working budget for themselves.






Unit Duration



Related Big Ideas

Social Studies

Career Education

The following resources are made available through the British Columbia Ministry of Education. For more information, please visit BC’s New Curriculum.


Big Ideas

The Big Ideas consist of generalizations and principles and the key concepts important in an area of learning. The Big Ideas represent what students will understand at the completion of the curriculum for their grade. They are intended to endure beyond a single grade and contribute to future understanding.

Visit the Ministry of Education for more information

Core Competencies

orangecommunicationCommunications Competency

The set of abilities that students use to impart and exchange information, experiences and ideas, to explore the world around them, and to understand and effectively engage in the use of digital media

bluethinkingThinking Competency

The knowledge, skills and processes we associate with intellectual development

greensocialSocial Competency

The set of abilities that relate to students’ identity in the world, both as individuals and as members of their community and society

Visit the Ministry of Education for more information

Curricular Competencies & Content

Curricular Competencies are the skills, strategies, and processes that students develop over time. They reflect the “Do” in the Know-Do-Understand model of curriculum. The Curricular Competencies are built on the thinking, communicating, and personal and social competencies relevant to disciplines that make up an area of learning.

Visit the Ministry of Education for more information

 Additional Resources

First People's Principles of Learning

To read more about First People’s Principles of Learning, please click here.

For classroom resources, please visit the First Nations Education Steering Committee.