Checking Out Checking Accounts
This lesson uses a Better Money Habits poster to help students examine the features of checking accounts.
This lesson uses a poster – Your Bank Account: 10 Questions to Ask – from Better Money Habits to help students examine the features of checking accounts. The lesson is designed to be taught in conjunction with Lesson 8: Choosing and Using a Checking Account in Financial Fitness for Life, Grades 6-8 . The lesson will help students better understand the decisions they need to make when opening their own checking account. As part of this lesson, students will review two options for a checking account to determine which account is most appropriate for their individual situation.
Financial Fitness for Life is a comprehensive personal finance curriculum for K-12 students that teaches students how to make thoughtful, well-informed decisions about important aspects of personal finance, such as earning income, spending, saving, borrowing, investing, and managing money. Visit CEE’s Financial Fitness for Life website for more information on the publication and how to purchase it.
- Identify different features of a checking account.
Determine which features are most important for them.
- After completing Procedure 14 in Lesson 8: Choosing and Using a Checking Account in Financial Fitness for Life, Grades 6-8 , put students in small groups and distribute copies of the poster “Your Bank Account: 10 Questions to Ask ” to each group. Distribute a copy of Handout 3.1 to each student.
- Have students work in their groups to review the poster and complete their individual handouts.
- After reviewing the poster and completing the handout, have students work in their groups to determine which of the questions are the most important ones to use when getting their first checking account. Have each group report back to the class and compare their answers. Discuss any differences in their answers.
Debrief the activity with students by discussing the importance of having a checking account and making the best choice about the costs related to having one.
To summarize this lesson, review some of the characteristics of a checking account and the importance of finding an account that best fits a person’s individual needs. Discuss how the need for different types of services may change as a person’s situation changes.
Have students use the worksheet to compare two checking accounts. These accounts may be from local or online institutions. Then, have students decide which account would be most appropriate for them and give the reason why that account best suits their needs.
Have students take their completed handout home to work with a parent or other adult to evaluate their checking account.
Invite a local banker to visit class to discuss the purpose of the different accounts offered at his/her financial institution.
Have students complete the “check” list in Handout 3.2.