Financial literacy is such a fun topic to teach in first grade! I especially love it because I can tie together math, social studies and writing very easily with something that students will interact with DAILY as adults: MONEY.
As a Dave Ramsey fan, I also have a personal agenda to help my students understand early on how important it is to spend AND save!
Oddly enough, kids at this age are sometimes confused about where money comes from and how to make money.
This unit gives students a great foundation for how to earn and spend money, what types of things they can spend money on (goods and services) and also why it is important to spend and save.
Goods and Services
The purpose of explaining goods and services as a part of financial literacy in first grade is to help students understand WHAT they can spend money on.
GOODS are physical materials that a person spends money on that they can take home.
SERVICES are things a person pays for, but does not phsycially take anything home from.
When talking about goods and services, this is the PERFECT time to tie in career choices because you are talking about services like: Police Officer, Firefighter, Hair Dresser, Dentist and Doctor.
I always love to use this time to have students do a CREATIVE project about “If I invented a Good” or “If I invented a Service”. Students can get really creative with things that they would create to generate income!
Needs and Wants
Needs and wants is a simple, yet very important topic for first graders to learn about financial literacy. Most students at this age do not fully understand the concept of money and how much things cost. They simply want their parents to buy them what they want.
It is important for students to understand that income (money) must be spent on things that you NEED before it can be spent on things that you WANT.
This topic can be tricky because students often think they NEED things like a cell phone, so it is very important to explain WHY an object is considered a need or a want.