Book lesson: How the Second Grade Got $8205.50...

Lesson written by Lauren Cervera

Suggested Books (paid link)

Essential Questions for students (objectives): How do people use financial literacy skills in everyday situations?
Supplies:  Whole group:  How the Second Grade Got $8,205.50 to Visit the Statue of Liberty, Financial literacy graphic organizer, math journal
Instructional format:  Whole group discussion & small group or center work

Prior Knowledge/Possible Warm-up Activities:  Vocabulary games/activities related to financial literacy vocabulary.  Think about a time students went on a field trip.  Did they think about how much it cost?  Did they think about who paid for it? 

Time needed: 1 hour for whole group lesson.
Vocabulary for Word Wall:  income, money as a gift, goods, services, spending, saving, producers, consumers, human capital, labor, planned spending, unplanned spending, profit, financial institution, budget

Description of Lesson:

Possible whole group lessons –

1) Look at some of the financial literacy standards that are in your grade level with the students.  To instill prior knowledge, complete a vocabulary activity such as a Frayer model, math journaling activity, book creation, etc. so students are familiar with the basic ideas of the terms.  Teacher reads How the Second Grade Got $8,205.50 to Visit the Statue of Liberty as students follow along.  Students will think about how the kids in the book are encountering financial literacy as they move throughout the story and list them in their math journal.  After the reading, have students share with their groups different ways characters in the book encountered financial literacy.  Some of the financial literacy situations students should have noted are (depending on grade level):  Ways to earn income (K.A, 1.9A, 3.9A), difference between income and gifts (K.9B), skills required for jobs (K.9C), Using income to obtain goods and services (1.9B), how money saved can accumulate to larger amounts over time (2.11A), differentiate between producers, consumers (2.11F), calculate cost to produce a single item (2.11F), identify costs and benefits of unplanned spending (3.9C), explain connection between human capital/labor income (3.9A), calculate profit, (4.10B), basic purpose of financial institutions (4.10E),

2) When students are finished discussing, the class can create a graphic organizer together as a class (or you can provide one for them).  In this graphic organizer there will be the name of the financial literacy concept, how they witnessed it in the story and how they have seen it occur in real life.  They will fill out these graphic organizers as a group and share experiences they have had to help each other. 

Small group/centers lesson – Each center could take as long as you make the project deep. These could be simple one-time centers, or ongoing projects students work on throughout a month or so.

1)  4th-5th grade-  Keep a running checkbook log, either by hand or electronically to find the working balance of the 2nd grade class’ story.  This could be used just to practice the difference between deposits and withdrawals, or knowing which operation to choose in a word problem (using the electronic version), or to practice the skill of adding and subtracting with decimals (with the paper copy). 

2)  Consider an instance where students could run a business for profit.  They can practice calculating profit in this group/center.  They will have to account for costs of materials to construct their product, decide what they will sell it for and figure out their net profit they would receive per product.  You could extend this activity having students actually make their product.  Children could host a fair where students use play money to go around the room and “buy” different students’ products. 

3)  Students can research a field trip they would like to go to online.  They will need to find out what the different costs associated with that field trip would be, what they would get to do on that field trip and calculate how much it would cost to go on each field trip for their entire class/grade level.  Different groups can choose different field trips and present their findings to the class. From there, they can compare costs as a whole group. 

Interdisciplinary connections –

1)  In the book, the students collect cardboard, paper, and other recyclables.  Students can connect this to Science and think about reducing, reusing and recycling natural resources.  Students can consider the benefits of this and how it helps the earth.  They can tell the differences in reducing, reusing and recycling the different paper materials in the story.  Students can even plan to host their own class/grade level/school paper drive with all items collected to be put into a recycling program. 

2) A writing connection students can make is to write about a field trip they would like their class to take and think about different ways they can raise money to go on the field trip.  Students can write a persuasive paper on why they want to go on whichever field trip they want to go on and why.  They will also write out their exact plans for earning money with their fundraiser.

3) Students can create a poster that advertises their fundraisers using different art mediums. 

4) Students can read an article/website about the Statue of Liberty.  They can learn about it’s history,  the importance of it to our nations why it would be a good place to go on a field trip. 
Assessment (Acceptable Evidence):  Students will choose one financial literacy concept they learned about in this story.  They will write, in detail what the concept is, how students in the story portrayed it, and where they have experienced it in the real world.  This assessment should go into deeper explanation from their graphic organizer.  They will also write why it’s important to know about this financial literacy concept for their own lives.    


Worksheets or additional documents:  Financial Concepts Graphic organizer, check book registers (electronic and paper)

Book Cover

Help Wanted on
Mont Vernon
This book combines history
and mathematics with
adorable characters to teach
kids about the many talents
of the first U.S. President.

Book Cover

The UnderAchievers:
Woven into a fun story, this
book provides excellent
math lessons for kids.  

Writing Across the Curriculum:
The NumberFix Project


Book Cover

 Wacky We-Search Reports:
A popular book on writing
across the curriculum.