Money Metropolis

3rd Grade Economics Lesson

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Lesson Plan

Hook: Have you ever wanted something really bad but couldn't afford it? What did you do?

Who here gets an allowance? You might get an allowance for being good or making good grades, or you might babysit. This means that you earn money. You may not have specifically "earned" or been deserving of the money (if you didn't work for it), for example if your relatives gave you money as a gift, but when you receive money, we call that earning money.

When you spend money, you use your money to pay for something. If you bought Pokemon cards or a Barbie Doll, you spend your money to obtain those items.

What do you do when you want something really bad, but can't afford it?

Anyone have a piggy bank? What do you do with a piggy bank? Put money away and use it for later. Correct, you usually put money into a piggy bank and don't get it out until later when you really want or need it. This is called saving, when you put money away now to pay for something later. It is important to save in order to get what we want in the future.

Let's say I make $10 a week and I want a Wii that costs $100 at Walmart. I could spend $10 on one meal at a restaurant, or buy some toys with it. But if I saved my $10 every week, and put it in my piggy bank, in ten weeks I would have $100 saved since $10 times 10 is $100. (Optional: Show this on a calendar.)

Sometimes, you have to budget, you have to plan what you are going to spend and what you are going to save. Perhaps you can't always save all of your $10 (you have to pay for a school field trip) or you don't always want to, maybe you want your new favorite Pokemon cards that just came out that cost $3. Perhaps you can save $7 then. It is up to you to budget, to plan what you are going to spend and what you are going to save (usually this happens ahead of time), so that you don't run out of money!

Let's say I make $8 an hour at work and I want a new pair of shoes that cost $20. I know it's going to take me about 3 hours of work for me to afford those shoes. I then ask myself, are those shoes worth 3 hours of work? If I really love them, I'll buy them, or I might decide that I don't want them bad enough. When you budget, you make these types of decisions.

Today you are going to play a game called Money Metropolis where you will have to budget. You will create a savings goal, how much money you want to save for the future, and you will work to earn money while also having the chance to spend money along the way.

I am going to give you a brief demo, demo is short for demonstration, of the game.

During the demo, read the instructions. Go through the different savings goals and then pick your favorite: "I'm going to save for a plane trip, because I would like to travel to Arizona to see my relatives for Thanksgiving." Read the How to Play Instructions. Show them the bar that outlines the progress you are making on your goal. Show them one way to earn money and one place to spend money. Show them where it pops up in the budget tab. Hand out the worksheets with the questions and ask if there are any questions. Have students go to their assigned computer and play!

Money Metropolis Game

Students will go here to play Money Metropolis:
http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/games/moneymetropolis/
Note: You cannot save the game so do not exit the game until you have finished or the time is up.

Throughout playing the game and after playing the game, students will answer the following questions:

What do you want to save for? What is your savings goal?


You must earn money in three different ways. In what ways did you earn money? How much did you make? Name at least three ways you earned money.


What did you spend your money on? How much did it cost?


Did you have to buy any goods that helped you make money? If so, what?


In the limited time that we had, how close did you get to your goal? How did you feel?


Would you have done anything differently next time?


What is the importance of saving money?

3rd Grade Social Studies TEKS

Knowledge and Skills

(6) Economics. The student understands the purposes of earning, spending, saving, and donating money. The student is expected to:

(A) identify ways of earning, spending, saving, and donating money; and

(B) create a simple budget that allocates money for spending, saving, and donating.