Category Archives: Activity

NGPF Podcast: Brian Page, Outreach and Education Manager at Budget Challenge

Thank you to Brian Page, Outreach and Education Manager at Budget Challenge for sharing his expertise with our educator community in this recent 24 minute podcast .  Brian spent over a decade teaching personal finance at Reading High School (Ohio) and now lends his expertise to supporting teachers implementing the Budget Challenge simulation in their classrooms.  Brian’s years of experience in the classroom provides him with an amazing perspective to provide insightful answers to such questions as…

  • What real-world skills can a simulation like Budget Challenge provide students?
  • How does Budget Challenge address the fee-driven financial services world that we live in?
  • What are the various ways that teachers can implement Budget Challenge in their classrooms?
  • What are the keys to students succeeding in the Budget Challenge (after all, there are millions of scholarship dollars at stake!)?

Enjoy the conversation!

Show notes: Continue reading

Investing Game: Think You Can Time the Market?

Great simulation (on Quartz) for students to see the futility of trying to time the market, which is the belief that you can make good decisions about when to get out of the market (if you think it is overvalued) and to get back in (when you think it is undervalued).

This simulation uses prices from the S&P500 for a ten year period (this ten year period changes every time you play the game too!) which unfold on the line graph at the rate of about one year of data every 7-10 seconds.  Here is a screenshot after seven years elapsed (note the talking head on the left which provides tempting advice as the game unfolds).

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Here is a sample output after the game is completed (total time per game play is about one minute): Continue reading

Audio Resource: Want To Bring A Bank To Your School?

From Iowa Public Radio (45 minute podcast):

Financial literacy has been required as a part of the 21st-Century Skills portion of the Iowa Core for years. But specifics on enforcing the standard are fuzzy, so personal finance and economics classes vary wildly district to district.

Bob Mantell is the director of the T.S. Institute, an organization dedicated to financial literacy for K-12 students, that’s based in Treynor, a southwestern Iowa city of about 1,000 people. His organization puts banks in schools so that kids can get first-hand experience with money. Some kids serve as tellers, others deposit money in a savings account.


Check out the NGPF Activity on Online Banking

Can You Go On A Cash-Only Diet?

This BusinessInsider article might be a useful activity to try in your classroom for a few weeks or even a month.  Challenge your students with debit and/or credit cards to put them away and only use cash for a period of time. Probably best for them to estimate their weekly expenses and then take out that amount at the beginning of the week. While they spend, they should also be sure to collect receipts so they can track their spending. The research is well documented that we spend less when use cash instead of plastic. Continue reading

Looking for A Great Hands-On Budgeting Activity….


I think of this no-tech, kinesthetic Bean Game activity as “Ol Reliable” when it comes to my six week summer program I have taught at Eastside Prep. for the past five years. Each year this game has been one of my students’ favorite activities.  Here’s a sampling of feedback from students when I asked what they liked best about the class this year:

  • “The activities we did in class like the bean game because it helped me better understand what budgeting would be like in the future.”
  • “I loved the real life examples we did like the bean game.”
  • “What i liked most about the class was participating in the bean game where we use beans as money for our needs such as phone payment, buying a car and living in our own apartment.”

The game has a very simple set-up: Continue reading

Insights from Career Day…

I co-teach a 6 week personal finance course for incoming 9th graders every summer at Eastside College Prep. in East Palo Alto, California.  Over the years, I have developed a 25-hour project-based curriculum that teaches students the basics of saving, budgeting, investing, credit cards, credit scores and careers.

One of my favorite sessions is Career Day which has the following structure: Continue reading