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Money Smart

Grades 3 - 5

Last Updated: February 2, 2022

This standards-aligned curriculum series empowers educators with engaging activities to integrate financial education instruction into subjects such as math, English, and social studies. Here is a brief overview of what you will find:

  • Educator’s Guide with lessons and hands-on activities to promote student participation in the learning process. Grade-level modifications are identified throughout the activities.
  • Teacher Presentation Slides, optional overhead visuals that include fill-in charts to support the activities of each lesson.
  • Student Guide features worksheets for students based on topics covered in each lesson that can be used at school or at home. The worksheets can be found in the Educator Guide for grades Pre-K-2, and in a standalone Student Guide for grades 3-12.
  • Parents’/Caregivers’ Guide with a summary of the key concepts covered in the module, and that offers exercises, activities, and conversation-starters for parents.

Superintendents, Principals, Educators and other Administrators:

The FDIC would like to hear from school superintendents, principals, or other school leaders on how we can support educators in your schools using the Money Smart curriculum. In addition, the FDIC wants to hear from educators who use the curriculum on what worked well, what could be improved, and promising approaches you may have used to deliver the curriculum. Please contact and describe where the curriculum could be used and the grade-level range of the students.

Course Description

This page provides details on the lessons that comprise Money Smart for Grades 3 - 5.

The first table helps you find lessons that align with key financial topics as defined through the My Money Five ( The second table illustrates the topic and learning objectives for each of the lessons.

Theme Corresponding Lesson
  • Lesson 8 (Exploring Careers and Income)
  • Lesson 1 (Buying Decisions)
  • Lesson 3 (Budgeting)
  • Lesson 7 (Charitable Giving)
Save and Invest
  • Lesson 2 (Setting Goals)
  • Lesson 4 (Saving)
  • Lesson 6 (Introduction to Investing)
  • Lesson 5 (Payment Options)
  • N/A

Lessons at a Glance

Lesson Number Lesson Title Topic Learning Objectives
1 Money Matters Buying Decisions
  • Explain the difference between needs and wants, and identify examples of each
  • Compare and prioritize needs and wants
  • Evaluate different choices when making a purchase
  • Discuss impulse buying
  • Discuss and explain opportunity cost
2 Get Set for Goals Setting Goals
  • Identify and develop ways to set short-term and long-term goals for saving
  • Explain the importance of setting goals for saving
  • Identify things that might affect decisions to spend or save money
3 Make a Plan Budgeting
  • Explain the term “budget”
  • Identify categories of a budget (income, expenses, savings)
  • Create a budget
  • Apply budgeting skills to real-world scenarios
  • Understand the concept of “pay yourself first”
4 Save Your Money Saving
  • Explain what banks do and what interest is
  • Name benefits of saving money in a bank versus at home
  • Understand risks and why it’s important to save for emergencies
  • Evaluate real-world scenarios that focus on saving for emergencies, unexpected events, or purchases
  • Create an infographic to show possible risks for a real-world scenario
5 Which Way to Pay? Payment Options
  • Explain the concept of credit and debit (including checks and money orders)
  • Compare and contrast various payment methods (cash, credit, and debit)
  • Apply knowledge of payment options to real-world scenarios
  • Discuss the consequences of paying back credit past the due date
  • Discuss identity theft and types of personal information that should not be shared
6 Get Invested Introduction to Investing
  • Explore the basic concepts of investing, including risk and return
  • Compare and contrast several kinds of investments
  • Analyze the savings outcome of several investment options
  • Explain the value of long-term financial planning
7 It's Great to Donate! Charitable Giving
  • Explain the meaning of charitable giving, and its rewards
  • Create a plan to raise money for a charitable cause
  • Research various charitable causes
  • Organize a charity drive
8 Career Choices Exploring Careers and Income
  • Identify and explore different types of jobs
  • Evaluate personal interests related to careers
  • Explain how money is earned and why it is taxed
  • Explain what an entrepreneur is

Return to Money Smart for Young People to learn more or download the curriculum.

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