Federal Reserve and Banking System for Macroeconomics, American History and Personal Finance
Over time everyone has had a pocketful of pennies, it’s not something we think about very much. But what if we woke up tomorrow and found that there were no more pennies? Or what if we found that money had disappeared altogether — not only from our pockets but from banks, stores and all the other places where we would expect to find it? While we are on the subject, just what is this thing called money? Everyone knows about money–or do they? Where did it come from? Why are a piece of paper and a metal disk money? Why not something else? Just how did this dollar or dime wind up in my pocket? This lesson will send your students on a mission to investigate the history of money. In a wrap-up activity, it will call upon the students to consider whether we should keep or toss the penny.
This lesson enables you to introduce the concept of money to your students. When they were much younger, your students probably learned to identify the different coins and their values. And they probably learned to count money and make change. This lesson addresses the origins of money and the forms it has taken as a medium of exchange. It concludes by asking the students to analyze an issue and take a position on it: whether we should keep the penny or eliminate it from our currency. In addition, this lesson promotes student guided research and review of information and data, you may wish to use this as a small group project or plan to extend it over several class periods as independent research.
Agent Notebook Resource Sites
The Agent Notebook directs students to view the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis page on the History of Money to gain knowledge about money.
Students will read the Attitudes Toward the Discontinuation of the Penny article to see what other people think about pennies. This site is also necessary for the completion of assignment #4.
Assignment 4: Final Report & Recommendations to the Big Bosses.
Students will answer the questions provided below using knowledge gained from the resources previously viewed. After completion a printed copy will be turned into the instructor.
Use the teacher's version of the Agent Pincher Notebook to check student responses.
Take a moment and have your students debate/discuss the pros and cons of the use of the penny. This activity requires your students to explore the basics behind the money they use every day. After learning about the functions and how money is produced, the extended consideration of the penny should bring lots of lively discussion to the classroom. The following activities should also be used to encourage students to enhance their writing and note taking skills.
This lesson presents several opportunities for students review and assessment – the post cards, agent notebook, and the memo to the Big Bosses about the penny.
Grades K-2, 3-5
Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12