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The Great Save: Exploring Costs and Savings
As most adults know, children like to think that money grows on trees—that whenever they want something, there will automatically be enough money to buy it. Using a story about a family that must save to buy something it wants, this activity gets children thinking critically about money that comes in (income) and the choices involved in deciding how to spend—or save—it. Not only is this a great bridge between literature and math concepts, it’s also an important lesson in responsibility.
When children are able to connect the stories they read to real-life ideas—in this case, learning to save for something they want—these ideas become even more meaningful to them. In one way, this activity focuses on math skills, such as the importance of income, spending, and saving; how to make cost comparisons; and figuring out how long it would take to save for a particular item. But on another level, it also teaches about goal-setting, planning, and appreciating the money that is earned, not to mention the sacrifices it sometimes takes to reach a larger goal.
This activity was modified from the ReadWriteThink lesson plan “Exploring Cost and Savings Using Children’s Literature.”