Financial literacy may not often be a hot topic. Still, recently it became headline news when research revealed that in the United States, 75% of students don’t have confidence in their knowledge of personal finances. Teachers prepare learners for a successful future beyond the classroom. Part of that success inevitably connects to financial literacy. However, it can sometimes be a challenge to get kids excited to learn about financial topics. That’s why I gamify my lesson plans whenever possible.
Every student’s eyes light up when you tell them they are spending classroom time playing a game. Whether you live in a state that now requires financial literacy education or not, here are two of my top gamified resources to get students engaged in the topic.
My students are always talking about entrepreneurship. While they may not know it’s called that, they’re talking about how they want to be social media influencers or pitch an idea on Shark Tank.
The Discover Venture Valley program from The Singleton Foundation and Discovery Education introduces business concepts to students in hands-on and engaging ways. The free resources align with the learning standards of multiple disciplines and engage my students. In the video game aspect – Venture Valley – of the program’s resources, students explore entrepreneurial concepts and learn financial literacy. There are no in-app ads or purchases, and it was recently awarded 4 out of 5 stars from Common Sense Media.
Students experiment with different pricing and marketing tactics or pivot entire business concepts and see the impact, all within a simulated environment. With gamified financial literacy, students can experiment and fail safely. Plus, my students especially like the element of competition in the multi-player mode, where they can compete against each other to have the most successful business.
The Stock Market game was another favorite of mine for many of the same reasons. It’s from the SIFMA Foundation and teaches students how to invest money smartly. In the game, students receive $100,000 and invest it in recognizable companies.
Students love investing in real-world companies and watching the news to determine whether their investment choices are good. While it’s an individual game, my students loved experimenting with the money and seeing who ended up with the most.
The game also offers engaging, standards-aligned classroom resources to introduce critical concepts that are then reinforced through the game. Plus, the educator center features a searchable library of resources like lesson plans and assessments to help take the learning. These include Curriculum resources, lesson plans, assessments, standards correlations, and more.
Personally, I geek out on opportunities to use technology with my students. These gamified resources take learning to the next level while still centering pedagogy and engagement.
Plus, there’s no time like the present to kick off financial literacy, given that April is National Financial Capability Month.