Key Concept

  • Personal financial management is a vital life skill.


Tier 2 Deposit
Tier 3 checking account
credit score
savings account
Test Words financial planning

Evidence-Based Reading

  • Make Connections: Point out to students that this lesson is about personal finance and that it is especially relevant to their own lives. As they read the text on page 232, encourage them to make connections by asking themselves questions, such as Have I learned something about personal finances and saving before? Explain that anytime students read a new passage, they can help their comprehension by making connections to their day-to- day lives.

Real World Connection

  • Understand Interest: When students complete the exercise, invite volunteers to share their calculations and write them on the board. Discuss how the apparent cost of an item can drastically increase if the merchandise is purchased on credit and the buyer pays only a portion of the bill each month.

Writing Practice

  • When students have finished their journal entries, invite volunteers to share the steps they have written to improve their financial situation. Remind them, however, not to divulge private account information and to use caution when discussing their personal financial affairs with other people.

Before Lesson

Assess students’ understanding of basic personal finance by asking for their suggestions about what it means for someone to be good with money. Write student responses on the board. Guide the class into a consensus that being good with money can mean being skilled at acquiring and keeping money and at making wise choices when spending it. Emphasize that being good with money is not a talent that they have to be born with. It is a set of skills that they can learn. Tell students that in this lesson, they will learn more about managing their finances.


Review the Key Concept word by word with students. Ensure they understand that personal, here, means an individual or a family and financial means having to do with money. Tell students that vital means very important and also means needed for life. Ask: How is money, and managing it carefully, needed for you to live a comfortable life?

Guided Practice

  • Personal Finance
    • Banks and Checking Accounts
  • Saving for Your Future
  • Understanding Credit

Core Skill

Integrate Visual Information: As background to the activity, ask students the difference between necessities and luxuries. After students have completed the activity, lead the class in reaching a consensus about how using visual information in the form of a table made the exercise easier to complete and understand.

Interpret Meaning: When students have completed the exercise, invite volunteers to read each of their rhetorical questions to the class, followed by reading the part of the text on page 231 that provides the answer to the question.


Reciting Topical Phrases: Pair English language learners with fluent English speakers. Ask students to write some common phrases they would need to use in a bank (e.g., I would like to open a savings account, please). Then have partners practice reciting the phrases to each other. Have the fluent English speaker suggest changes in wording, as appropriate.

Compare Interest Rates: Have groups of students go online and gather information regarding loan rates from local banks and credit unions. Tell them to determine the APR (annual percentage rate) on a loan of $1,000 from two banks and two credit unions. Have students then compare the rates and point out differences between the rates from the different institutions. Once they have assessed their data, have the groups summarize the information and give a presentation to the class. Invite class members to critique the presentation and offer suggestions for revision.

Lesson Review