- Read financial literacy articles closely
- Discuss how statistics can help us understand the past and predict the future
- Practice critical analysis and writing
- Money Confident Kids Student Magazine printable
- “What’s Your Financial Path” Article on page 2
- “Spending Now” Article on page 2
- “Spending Later” Article on page 3
- Teenage Consumer Spending Statistics Chart
- Make a class set of the Money Confident Kids Student Magazine printable or the following articles within the printable: “What’s Your Financial Path?”, “Spending Now,” and “Spending Later.”
- Make a class set, or enough copies for students to share, of the Teenage Consumer Spending Statistics Chart.
Step 1: Write the words “save” and “spend” on the board. Ask students to think about whether either one of these concepts is better than the other and write about their opinion for five minutes. Students should support their opinion with details.
Step 2: Have students read the “What’s Your Financial Plan?”, “Spending Now,” and “Spending Later” articles from the Money Confident Kids Student Magazine printable.
Step 3: In a full-class discussion, ask students about details in the articles to ensure that they understood what they’ve read. Ask questions such as: “Do most young people think they know how to manage money?” (No, only 17% do.) “What is the difference between saving and spending and spending now and spending later?” (It’s all spending, just with a different timeline.) “How much money does the average 12- to 14-year-old have to spend each year?” ($2,767)
Understanding the Facts
Step 4: Draw students’ attention to the phrase “Every year, $258 billion is spent on and by young people like you” from the “Spending Now” article. Explain that statistics like this are used to analyze what is happening in the world around us. They can help us look at the past (distant or near) and identify trends that might be useful in predicting what may happen in the future. Discuss examples of how statistics have been used to identify and predict trends, including weather forecasting, disease outbreaks, and elections.
Step 5: Underline the phrase “young people like you.” Explain that to really understand whether this statistic is relevant to them, they need more information about that phrase. Together, make a list of facts that they need to know in order to better understand the statistic, such as:
- “What ages were surveyed?”
- “Where do these ‘young people’ live?”
- “Who is making the purchase — a teen, an adult, or a combination of the two?”
Step 6: Have students use the Teenage Consumer Spending Statistics chart to answer the questions they brainstormed. Also discuss the other statistics presented in the Teenage Consumer Spending Statistics chart and whether students feel this data accurately reflects their own spending choices.
Supporting All Learners
To simplify the lesson, select only two or three statistics from the chart to focus students’ attention.
For an additional challenge, distribute copies of the article “Here’s How Teens Really Spend Money, What They Like, and Where They Shop” for students to read independently. As a class or in small groups, have students compare the details in the articles they have read and ask them to identify any emerging spending trends.
Ask students whether their opinion about spending and saving has changed. Discuss whether or not students feel that the idea of spending now and spending later is more positive and proactive.
Lexile Score: 890L
Common Core Key Standards: RH.6–8.6, RI.6.6