Return

Students learn about banks and credit unions, identifying similarities and differences between the two types of financial institution. They also evaluate a local bank and credit union to determine which one would be better suited to their needs. (This is Part I of a two-part project.)

KEY CONCEPTS

Banking, Decision Making, Economic Systems, Money, Money Management, Savings

STUDENTS WILL

  • Identify the differences and similarities between banks and credit unions.
  • Locate local banks and credit unions.
  • Evaluate which would be the better choice for them based on a set of criteria.

INTRODUCTION

Banks and credit unions are both financial institutions where you can have checking accounts and savings accounts. So what's the difference? Initially established for different purposes, today's banks and credit unions are looking more and more like each other, but there are still some major differences. Lately, there's been a lot of controversy about one of those differences - that while banks pay taxes as for-profit organizations, credit unions remain largely untaxed. Your students will discover the differences and similarities between banks and credit unions and draw conclusions about which they would choose based on criteria important in selecting a savings institution.

MATERIALS

 


PROCESS

Activity 1: Similarities & Differences - What are these things?

Students will complete this Venn Diagram using the information they find on the following web sites:

Students should first find general information about credit unions .

Students can also visit an overview of credit unions .

Have students find out how banks work .

Here is a thorough definition of credit unions.

Students can also look at the definition of banks.

Venn Diagram will be printed when it's completed and used as a reference sheet for the student until the end of the project, when it will be turned in.

Activity 2: Where are they?

Students will locate banks and credit unions that are close to where they live and go to school - which ones would be most convenient for them? Students locate one bank and one credit union in their area with web sites and fill this information in to the Criteria for Choosing a Bank or Credit Union worksheet.
 


Activity 3: Which one is better for me? Have students complete Bank Criteria Worksheet by using their venn diagram and Web sites they have researched.

CONCLUSION

Banks and credit unions have become fundamentally the same thing. The differences are due to credit unions' history as grass-roots cooperative groups, while banks have always been for-profit institutions.

ASSESSMENT ACTIVITY

Have students use their venn diagrams and information they learned to complete the activity below.

Have students complete an Interactive Activity.

EXTENSION ACTIVITY

  1. Split the students into small groups and have them discuss the tax status of banks and credit unions. Is the situation fair? Who does it benefit? Who does it hurt? Have the groups collaborate for a few minutes, then elect on member per group to share their thought with the class.

  2. Give students the option to interview an employee of a bank or credit union and share their findings with the class. Require that they submit at least five questions for teacher approval before they conduct the interview.

EDUCATOR REVIEWS

  • “I believe that this information would be better if it contained the business ladder and the college courses to help a student who is interested in baking to excel and follow their dreams.”

    Auron P.   POSTED ON September 21, 2007

  • “Personally, I believe this website is a great idea and it should be known and used around the world.”

    Hashim Hazelwood, VA   POSTED ON September 21, 2007

  • “This activity is really good in teaching kids what is most helpful. This activity is the best one so far. It teaches you what banks and credit unions actually do in a person's life.”

    Andrew P.   POSTED ON March 3, 2008

  • “This lesson really fills in the blanks of what to do to comply with our new state performance standards regarding personal finance. Thanks.”

    Martha S., GA   POSTED ON May 4, 2008

  • “Thank you! Great resource.”

    Shannon S., Brookfield, OH   POSTED ON November 5, 2008

  • “It's not just good for young people, older adults can also benefit from this info, I definitely have. Good job.”

    Gail S., plainsboro, NJ   POSTED ON June 16, 2010

  • “I found this unit introduces banks and credit unions in an easy to understand way. The lesson incorporates visuals, online information gathering and appropriate and applicable activities to complete. I particularly like having students learn about banks and resources in their area and comparing their best options. Of course students can follow this up by interviewing a bank employee and gathering materials from either banks or credit unions for more information. This is a fine introductory unit comparing banks and credit unions. One can certainly incorporate many hands on activities with this lesson.”

    Marc R., Glen Allen, VA   POSTED ON July 24, 2011

Add a Review