No Funny Money, Honey....I Want the Real Thing!


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billsHave you ever thought what life would be like without money? How would you buy things? What makes a $10 bill worth 10 dollars? The paper/fabric that is used to make money is not worth $10 - so who says it can buy 10 dollars worth of goods and services? We all do! Everyone agrees that a $10 bill can buy $10 worth of stuff, and a $20 bill can buy $20 worth of stuff, etc. Find out how we make sure our dollar bills are kept safe.


In this lesson, you will name the security features that make the United States money unique. You will also discover the limitations of bartering, identify how U.S. Currency looks today, and design your own, personal bill. To assess your comprehension of the lesson's information, you will pick out the characteristics of money in a drop and drag activity, understand what changes have been made to U.S. currency to avoid counterfeiting and answer questions regarding current U.S. currency.


price tagA long time ago people used to barter to get what they wanted. The baker traded bread for a haircut from the barber. That worked, except what if the barber wanted bread but the baker didn't need a haircut? Farmers could trade a cow for a horse, but what if they wanted bread? How many loaves of bread would a cow be worth? There were many problems with bags

Then people started making money. Money was good because it was easy to carry (not like a cow!). Money was good because it could be divided into smaller amounts (oh no, poor cow!). Money was good because it lasted a long time (even if a cow steps on it!). Money was good because it was accepted by people and everyone wanted it (what would you do with a cow?).

There is a scarcity of money. Scarcity means not being able to have everything you want. Because everyone wants money, some people try to make it themselves and that is against the law! If everyone could make money, then money would not be worth much. We call money that people make many different names. Sometimes it is called 'funny money,' fake money, or counterfeit money. No matter what you call it, it is against the law and our government makes our money in a special way so that people cannot easily make it themselves. To find out more about our currency visit the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and The History of U.S. Currency   to find out more information about how the U.S. currency came to be.

Do you know what a $10 bill should look like? Visit The Redesigned $10 Note
and find out!...How about the $5 Note or the $20 dollar bill ?

You can also visit The New $10 Bill for an interactive visual at the "Safe. Smart. More Secure" look of the $10, as well as the $5, $20, $50, and $100.

Next, take this Mulitple Choice Quiz to find out how much money knowledge you have.

After the Multiple Choice Quiz, go to Design Your Own Bill to make a personalized bill that allows you to change the features and colors of your currency.


givingYour teacher will explain the concepts of durability, divisibility, and portability  of money and how it applies to currency and products today.

Do you know about the characteristics of money -- what each concept is and which items would apply to which characteristics? Check your understanding by using the Drag and Drop Activity.


You will play the (in the conclusion) and complete the activities provided by New Money- Educational Games & Resources in the process and extension activity.


The New Color of Money video outlines the changes that have been made to U.S. dollars, in particularly the $10 bill, and what has been done to prevent the counterfeiting of money.

After you have reviewed all of the information in this lesson and this section, take the Interactive Video Quiz located on the New Money website. You will need to click on "Take the Quiz" to begin.