Heritage Elementary 4th graders get the opportunity to learn a thing or two about saving money way before they are even out of the house.
“We use a money program in 4th grade to teach our students about rewards and consequences,” 4th grade teacher Joanna Dougan said. “We have been discussing the importance of earning money, and the fact that everyone has to spend money on services, products and bills in life.”
At the end of the nine weeks, students at the Highland Village school set up a “shop” inside the 4th grade “Mini Mall” to sell products or provide services for other students to purchase. Student shops included candy shops, bakeries, nail salons, fake tattoos, portrait studios and more. Some students created original artwork to sell, while others auctioned off goods they felt were in high demand. In order to set up shop, students paid $10 to rent the space – very similar to the real world.
The lesson also allows teachers to elaborate more about the core value of responsibility and build on what the school’s guidance counselor teaches students about it.
“We promote responsibility by paying students money when they show responsible behaviors,” Dougan said. “We have piggy backed on the Rachel’s Challenge program, which exemplifies when doing something good, you will cause a chain reaction. We are hoping this will encourage everyone to make good responsible choices and to be good decision makers.”
The students in turn show responsibility by keeping up with and saving their money. Students are given opportunities and choices of how to spend their money throughout the nine weeks any way they choose. If they have been responsible with their money, they are able to attend, shop and sell at the “Mini Mall” during the last week of the nine weeks.
Students enjoyed the experience.
“I think it is really fun because you can set your own prices on stuff that you bring and on stuff that you made,” Reynolds said. “It is an opportunity to learn more about how to spend money in the real world.”
See more photos from this hands-on lesson here.
Elizabeth Haas works in the public relations division of Lewisville ISD.