NGPF Featured Activity: How To Open A Checking Account

We continue to add to our growing list of engaging activities in the Next Gen Personal Finance’s Activity Bank.  In this post, I want to highlight “How To Open A Checking Account.”  In this activity, students proceed through a five step process:

  • Identify checking accounts with the best features (e.g., low/no fees, convenience, ATM locations)
  • Select a checking account after analyzing these features
  • Identify forms of identification and other items needed to open a checking account
  • Develop a list of questions to should ask when opening the account
  • Create a dialogue anticipating how the bank representative will answer questions

This activity places a high premium on students’ ability to drive their own learning through online research, including several Google searches, a checklist for identifying reputable information sources and a link to a popular checking account comparison website.  Given the fast moving nature of the financial services industry, it is critical that students develop these critical thinking and online research skills so they can make decisions based on the latest trends and information.  Finally, the activity doesn’t stop after the student’s checking account decision. Instead, it walks them through the steps required to implement their decision by identifying what they will need to open the account and having them role play a dialogue with a bank representative.