How to Construct a Class Bank
- Grades: 3–5
From Lesson Plan: Opening Your Class Store and Bank
In reality, all that is really necessary for a classroom to have a class bank is a table, a bank teller, and money. However, students are often more interested in economic activities that are realistic and that imitate the real world economic systems with which they are already familiar. For this reason, I tried to construct a bank that looks and runs like the banks students have learned about or visited with their parents.
What materials do I need for a class bank?
- Presentation Board: I purchased a foam project display board (also available in cardboard) from an office supply store. I cut out a section in the front panel of the board to make it look like a bank teller window. I then used a computer program to create a banner with the name of the bank above the section that I cut.
- Cash Box: I purchased a cash box from an office supply store with different sections so that the bank teller can separate different denominations of class money.
- Name Plate: Real banks have desk plates to tell customers the name of the bank teller. I purchased a desk plate sign holder at an office supply store and switch the name each time the bank opens depending on who is chosen to be the bank teller. This makes the teller position more "official" for the students.
- Paid Stamp: I purchased a stamp that says "PAID." When students bring their check to the bank to be cashed, the bank teller stamps them with the checks with a PAID stamp to indicated that the check has been cashed and cannot be used again.
- Date Stamp: When students cash their checks at the bank at the end of every pay period, they must get a new Credit and Debit Log Sheet (PDF) to paste into their individual credit and debit notebooks. They paste the new log into their notebooks at the bank, and the bank teller stamps the date (marking the beginning of a new pay period) on the new log.
- Open/Closed Sign: Students love to act like they are really operating their own business. The cashier at the store and the bank teller use this sign to let other students know when the bank and store are open.