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Savings Are Important Lesson Plan

This lesson is designed for students in grades 4-8 and includes differentiation options to make the lesson appropriate for your group of students. In this lesson, students will read about the concept of supply and demand. They will also analyze a graph to help deepen their understanding of this idea.

National Standards of Personal Financial Education

Common Core State Standards:


Students will be able to reflect about their personal savings as well as spending beliefs and/or habits.

Students will be able to use information from the Building Blocks of Finances texts paired with background knowledge to explain why saving is important to them personally.

Students will be able to defend their opinion with clear evidence and strong reasoning.


• Building Blocks of Finance books

• Bubble Diagram graphic organizer, 1/2 class set

• Whiteboard, smartboard, or chart paper

• Optional: Idea Map graphic organizer, full class set

• Organelles Table Answer Key

• Savings Are Important to Me assignment sheet, full class set

• Pencils

• Optional: Writing notebooks or writing paper

Lesson Duration:

approximately 30-50 minutes

Requisite Prior Knowledge:

In this lesson, students will brainstorm and write about why saving money is important to them. They will reference saving for fun purchases, saving for the future, and saving for emergencies. In order to engage effectively in this lesson, students should have an understanding that people save for different reasons as well as some examples of things people save their money to purchase. The Building Blocks of Finance books, especially Saving Money, contain this information.

Consider completing the My Spending Priorities reflection activity (found under Activities in the Building Blocks of Finance Educator Section) prior to engaging in this lesson. This will help your students reflect about what is important and valuable to them.


Savings Are Important to Me assignment sheet (formative or summative writing)

Optional: Idea Map graphic organizer (formative)

Differentiation Considerations:

This lesson includes an optional Idea Map graphic organizer to help students brainstorm what to write when responding to the prompt. The lesson plan below includes suggestions for modeling how to use this graphic organizer. Although this graphic organizer was intended for use with grades 4 and 5, it may be beneficial for students of any age depending on their writing strengths and needs.

Lesson and Instruction:

Introduction / Hook

Time Guidelines:

Approximately 5-10 minutes

Teacher Actions

During this portion of the lesson, students will work in pairs to complete a Bubble Diagram in order to brainstorm possible reasons people save their money.

Provide each pair a copy of the Bubble Diagram graphic organizer. Explain that students will have 2 minutes to complete and add to the map many reasons why people save money. Encourage students to include categories (such as emergencies) as well as specifics (buying a new car).

After time is up, have students share their brainstormed ideas. Scribe these on a board or chart paper so students can reference them throughout the remainder of the lesson.

Explain to students that today they will consider and write about why saving is important to them and what they might save their money to purchase. This will help them strengthen their opinion writing skills!

Direct Instruction and Modeling

Time Guidelines:

Approximately 5-10 minutes WITHOUT the graphic organizer

Approximately 10-20 minutes WITH the graphic organizer

See Differentiation Considerations for more information

Teacher Actions

Draw students’ attention to the list of reasons why people save money you just generated. Begin to look for trends and themes. Discuss any patterns or any interesting outliers in the list.

Bring the discussion to focus on the idea that most of these items can fall into three categories: saving for fun, the future, or emergencies.

Share that today students will write to answer the question “why is saving money important to you?” They should consider the three categories -- fun, the future, and emergencies -- when writing about why saving is important.

If choosing to use, share the Idea Map graphic organizer with students and project it so you can model the writing process. The largest, left-most box describes the main idea (e.g., savings are important). The middle boxes should contain students’ claims (e.g., it is important to save for future purchases). Finally, the right-most lines should be used for evidence and reasoning (e.g., I would like to own a house one day and because houses are expensive, I plan to begin saving now).

NOTE: If choosing to use the Idea Map graphic organizer, provide time for students to complete their own graphic organizers prior to moving to the next stage of the lesson.

Application Activity

Time Guidelines:

Approximately 5-10 minutes

Teacher Actions

Present the Headline Activity Teacher Version to students and read the headline aloud. This headline is based on the 2020 toilet paper shortage across America due in large part to COVID-19 fueled panic-buying. Provide some background on this as needed for your students.

Ask students to predict what might happen based on this headline. Have students think about how supply and demand might relate to this situation. Solicit some student responses, focusing on the reasoning behind the predictions. Model how to write a prediction sentence that includes reasoning. Toilet paper prices might increase because there is such a high demand and a low supply.

Next, explain that students will use their creativity to write a follow-up headline. The goal here is to show how results vary based on changes in supply and demand. Stores Place Restrictions on Number of Toilet Paper Products Individuals Can Purchase.

Independent Application and Demonstration of Learning

Time Guidelines:

Approximately 15-20 minutes, adjust the writing time as needed for your learners

Teacher Actions

Explain to students that they will have time to write about their own beliefs around saving and why it is important. Pass out the Savings Are Important to Me assignment sheet and project a copy, if possible.

Read and review the prompt with students and allow them time to write. Students should reference the brainstorm from the Hook/Introduction as needed. Students may also reference their Idea Map if you chose to use it.

See the Differentiation Considerations section of this lesson plan for potential accommodations and modifications.


Time Guidelines:

Approximately 5 minutes

Teacher Actions

Have students connect with their partner from the Hook/Introduction brainstorm to share their writing. If time allows, ask partners to share compliments and critiques.

Revisit the objectives and summarize the lesson. Today we reflected on why saving is important to us. We thought about saving for fun experiences, for our futures, and for emergencies. You also heard about the perspective of a peer and saw that people save for different reasons.

Next Steps and Reflection:

What went well?

What changes might be beneficial?

Reteaching Needs

Extension Needs