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Game of Life Financial Literacy Lesson

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Keywords: budget, financial literacy, decision making
Subject(s): Math
Grade 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
View Full Text of Standards
School: Ashfield Middle School, Brockton, MA
Planned By: Joyce Meaden
Original Author: Joyce Meaden, Brockton
Grade Level: 8th
Subject: Math
Length of Time: one class period (90 minutes)


The students will be able to choose their transportation and housing that will fit within their budget.

Materials Needed

Internet Access for prices of automobiles and housing

Previous Lessons
During the week before this lesson, we have had class discussions about where they will be in 10-15 years from now, and how they will have to be financially independent from their parents. We have discussed debt, interest, monthly payments, late fees as well as need vs wants. We also have examined case studies of longer loan terms compared to higher monthly payment amounts.
They have randomly chosen their family, employment, and debt, so they have an idea of how much available funds they have, and the size of the family they need to consider.

In this component of the Financial Literacy lesson the students will research a means of transportation and calculate the monthly payment assuring it will fit into their budget and accommodate their family.

The students will also research housing that will fit into their budget and family needs. They will compare renting versus purchasing with the associated costs. (Being an 8th grade lesson, we will not be involved with insurance. Utilities are covered in another lesson)

The students must find a specific vehicle via the Internet
The vehicle must fall within 10-15% of their net monthly income
The students must find specific housing via the Internet
The housing must fall within 30-35% of their net monthly income

The entire project takes about 3 weeks. We use this as our end-of-the-year project. The students are always engaged, and we have also received positive comments from their parents.
The students will continue with annual updates as "life" constantly changes.
Materials: Middle School, Middle
Other Items: 3 WiFi Hotspots, $120.00 each, total of $360.00
10 HP Chrombook 11 G4 Education Edition, $179.00 each, total of $1790.00