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Tools of the Trade

Making Dollars Make Sense

Students with money management mojo become grown-ups with fiscal smarts. Integrate financial literacy lessons into nearly any subject with these sites and apps, and let students discover how fun — and empowering — financial know-how can be.

By Melissa Campeau

  1. The City — A Financial Life Skills Resource Free!

    When students picture their adult selves, are they realtors, vets or bartenders? Do they own a home or belong to a gym? This site’s “Lifestyle Reality Check” quiz is a healthy (but still entertaining) eye-opener. Plus, find lesson plans and resources covering the essentials of credit, budgeting and investing.

    Grades: 9–12

  2. Practical Money Skills Canada Free!

    There’s nothing like a good game for introducing big ideas. From cute animated characters (Peter Pig’s Money Counter) to splashy graphics (the FIFA-branded Financial Soccer), there are options for a range of grades. For high school, find in-class activities on making money, budgeting and student loans.

    Grades: JK–12

  3. The Stock Market Game Free!

    Keep all the excitement but ditch the risk. That’s the concept behind this simulated stock market site (also available as an iOS app). Students manage a virtual $100k portfolio and make decisions about buying and selling, based on their research and understanding of current real-world events.

    Grades: 4–12

  4. Rich Kid Smart Kid Free!

    Jesse wants to grow his ice cream stand business, Ima is looking to save and Reno is going into debt to buy a video game. Students help the characters find solutions, which in turn grow their business skills and develop creative thinking through levelled lesson plans, activities and games.

    Grades: K–12

  5. Savings Spree $8.49

    The game-show format of this iOS app makes financial learning a blast. With fast-paced and colourful animation, students take in the effects of long-term savings, the risks of impulse shopping, charitable giving and investing. Financial shocks are written into the narrative to underscore the value of saving.

    Grades: 2–7

  6. The Mint Free!

    How will students plan a (fictional) prom? Will it be in the gym or at a country club? Sandwiches or fancy catered snacks? It’s a lesson in budgeting wrapped in a deeply relatable scenario. Find similar activities on the stock market and credit, and learn how to make decisions when faced with scarcity and choice.

    Grades: 6–12

  7. Make it Count Free!

    Spending situations like going to the movies with friends or shopping for a new pair of shoes take financial know-how from the abstract to the very real. The site’s lesson plans are easily layered onto other subjects, with objectives, discussion points, activities and questions to assess what students have learned.

    Grades: K–12

  8. EduGAINS Free!

    Financial literacy is an easy match with nearly any subject. Take music: How are recording artists paid? Environmental education? Consider extreme weather and its financial impact on a community. Search by grade or subject matter for lesson plans and videos, written with the Ontario curriculum in mind.

    Grades: 4–12