Teacher Resources

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Classroom Resources

The Dordt University Center for Economic Education (CEE) staff exists to help you make your classroom an amazing place for children to learn economics and personal finance. Here are a few ways we can help:

Training: Throughout the year the Dordt University Center for Economic Education will offer workshops for teachers introducing new materials for the K-12 classroom. Our next workshop will be:

Upcoming conferences and trainings offered by other reputable sources include:

The center can also work with school districts to plan activities for strengthening teachers' knowledge and classroom strategies in economics and financial literacy for K-12. Programs can be designed for teacher in-service days and offer specific topics districts may request. We will work with you to determine if online or at your school would be best. Contact us to arrange for specialized professional offerings for your district or school.

Newsletter: Subscribe to our monthly newsletter "Here's an Idea..." to get all the latest information, lesson plans, creative ideas and more sent to your inbox. It is short and practical. We also welcome your ideas or questions. Please email Vicki.Vermeer@Dordt.edu to sign-up for the newsletter.

Other newsletters we recommend:

Professional Development Activities: The center can work with school districts to plan activities for strengthening teachers' knowledge and classroom strategies in economics and financial literacy for K-12. Programs can be designed for teacher in-service days and offer specific topics districts may request. We can also bring our workshops (see above) to your school. Contact the CEE to arrange for specialized professional offerings for your district or school.

District Consultation: Does your district or school need to create a new course offering or revise standards and benchmarks in economics or personal finance? The center staff can assist in working with faculty or district personnel and give advice on the latest state and national standards in K-12 economics and personal finance. We also have a library of teaching materials and curriculum in our Dordt University office.  We welcome you to stop by our campus anytime to look over the materials. 

Teaching to Iowa Standards:

Iowa Social Studies Standards

This series of webinars includes resources and ideas for teaching each of the state standards at each grade level. A powerpoint with linked resources is included. Simply click the grade you want and explore the variety of resources available.

The center staff can assist in working with faculty or district personnel and give advice on the latest state and national standards in K-12 economics and personal finance. We also have a library of teaching materials and curriculum in our Dordt University office.  We welcome you to stop by our campus anytime to look over the materials or contact us for assistance in creating a new course offering or revising current courses to meet new standards and benchmarks in economics and personal finance.

CEE has many helpful links and we expand the list regularly. We have aligned many resources to the 2017 Iowa standards, the Jump$tart standards, and the National Voluntary Standards in Economics. Nationally designed and normed assessments available from the Council for Economic Education have been correlated to the Iowa content standards. Information about obtaining the assessment instruments for your school or district can be found on the National Council website.

classroom Resources


  • Grades: K-12
  • Type: Curriculum, videos, lesson plans, activities. Searchable.
  • Summary: Hundreds of economics and personal finance lessons. Best place to start when looking for lesson plans and resources. Lessons and interactive tools for teachers and students.

Council for Economic Education 

  • Grades: K-12
  • Type: Curriculum, Lesson Plans
  • Summary: Premier national economic education organization; curriculum; resources; local contacts; research. Parent organization for the Dordt University Center for Economic Education.

NextGen Personal Finance

  • Grades: 6-12
  • Type: Curriculum
  • Summary: 12 personal finance units that feature 65 lessons, 200 activities, over 400 curated videos, and much more.


  • Grades: 6-12
  • Type: Curriculum
  • Summary:  Middle school and high school curricula which teach personal finance and consumer life skills as well as healthy skepticism. Their mission is to teach consumers the importance of using caution, questioning sellers, and relying on independent research before spending money. 18 web-driven modules provide interactive, self-grading lessons including activities, videos, and more.


  • Grade: PreK-12
  • Type: curriculum and lesson plans
  • Summary: Money Savvy Generation develops innovative products to help parents, educators and others teach kids the skills of basic personal finance. We strive to empower kids to take control of their financial lives and, in turn, their futures.

Hands on Banking: Instructional Resources

  • Grade: K-12
  • Type: Instructional Resources
  • Summary: Instructor guides with lessons for K-12. The free and engaging Hands on Banking® program offers non-commercial resources and instructor guides with lessons and activities that will help you teach valuable financial skills. And all without any endorsements or advertising.

FDIC Money Smart

  • Grade: PreK-12
  • Type: curriculum
  • Summary: standards-aligned curriculum can be incorporated into subjects such as English language arts, Mathematics, and Social Studies. Includes free lesson plans and teacher guides

Economics Academy 101 

  • Grades: 4-8
  • Type: Curriculum with videos, lesson plans, Web activities
  • Summary: Through hands-on activities, students learn both the role of economics in our society and the role it plays in the 'economic' world. They get an awareness of how they are affected by the economy and how they, in turn, affect the economy. View the teacher's guide for the program. 

Intuit Education Simulations

  • Grade: 9-12
  • Type: educational simulation
  • Summary: Budgeting, savings accounts, credit report, evaluating credit card offers and turbo tax simulation


  • Grade: 4-8
  • Type: Game
  • Summary: In the game, students take on the exciting role of movie producer, making important decisions about everything from actors and directors to shooting locations and marketing strategy. Their job is to analyze the risks and rewards of each choice and its impact on the movie budget, with the goal of creating a blockbuster movie that doesn’t bust the bank.


  • Grade: 4-12
  • Type: Videos and lessons
  • Summary: Teaching different classifications of courses, including: the basics, careers, credit and debit, entrepreneurship, financial markets and the economy, financial planning, personal finances, and saving and investing.

Financial Literacy Guidance Document

  • Grade: High School Teachers
  • Type: document
  • Summary: Details of the 2019 Iowa law requiring every high school student to take a personal finance class before graduation.

Money Circle Toolkit 

  • Grade: Teachers; Financial advisors
  • Type: webinar
  • Summary: The Money Circle tools can help you discover important parts of your client's financial story that may not come up otherwise. The tools may create an opening for clients to bring up topics that are difficult for them to discuss. They may also help your clients gain insight into the origins of some of their financial challenges. This can clear a path to more realistic planning and can increase your client’s ability to achieve their financial goals. The tools may also help you find ways to motivate your clients to follow through on plans.

Library of Congress

  • Grade: 3-8
  • Type: Article, with lesson plan
  • Summary: The Library of Congress recently shared this blog where they share historical receipts from Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Graham Bell, Frederick Law Olmstead, Anne Fitzhugh Miller, and Rosa Parks. This could be a fun way to dig into how people in the past thought about their own personal spending.

finEDge Program

  • Grade: 9-12
  • Type: Curriculum
  • Summary: finEDge is a research-based financial education curriculum that provides students with opportunities to develop positive behaviors and practice making financial decisions.  Learn more. Our standards alignment page may be helpful:   https://finedge.uchicago.edu/explore-the-program/standards-alignment. Click on Iowa to view the alignment. The page also includes a document outlining our approach to standards alignment.

Virtual Fin Camps

  • Grade: Teacher
  • Type: Workshops
  • Summary: These five-hour workshops provided at NO COST to participants focus on specific topics such as investing, credit, insurance, taxes and careers.

Small Change: Building Financial Security Workshop

  • Grade: Teacher
  • Type: Workshop
  • Summary: This is a personal finance course developed by ISU Extension and Outreach for city and county employees, educators, and other school personnel. The course focuses on making more informed decisions about financial management and building greater confidence to make small changes that can make a difference.

Jump$tart Coalition Clearinghouse

  • Grade: K-Adult
  • Type: Online resources
  • Summary: An online library of financial education resources, for teachers, students, and parents.

National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education

  • Grade: Teacher
  • Type: National Standards Document
  • Summary: These National Standards delineate the personal finance knowledge and ability that young people should acquire throughout their kindergarten through 12th grade school years (K-12) to emerge as independent adult consumers, fully prepared to make wise financial decisions for a lifetime of economic well-being.

TD Bank WOW Zone

  • Grade: K-12
  • Type: Lessons and Resources
  • Summary: The TD Bank Financial Education lesson suite is a comprehensive financial literacy program created by TD Bank. Our goal is to provide children and teens with valuable information about money, saving, banking and investing. Designed to be educational, fun, and interactive, our programs provide a solid foundation for everyone to create a strong financial future.

An Introduction To Saving And Spending ( PDF, 48 KB, 3 pgs.)

  • Grade: K-1
  • Type: Lesson
  • Summary: Students in grades K-1 create a simple savings plan. Standards are listed.

Checking Accounts And Alternative Banking Methods ( PDF, 63 KB 5 pgs.)

  • Grade: 2-3
  • Type: Lesson
  • Summary: Students in grades 2-3 learn about cash, ATM transactions, checks, and credit cards and saving. Standards are listed.

Introduction To Credit ( PDF, 59.1 KB, 7 pgs.)

  • Grade: 4-5
  • Type: Lesson
  • Summary: Students in grades 4-5 are introduced to credit cards, credit card advantages, and responsible credit. Standards are listed.

Thirteen.org resources-

What Can I Afford?

  • Grade: 6-8
  • Type: Simulation
  • Summary: Students in grades 6-8 explore the costs of various cell phone plans. Standards are listed.

Smart Consumers, Smart Choices

  • Grade: 9-12
  • Type: Simulation
  • Summary: Students in grades 9-12 analyze budget, opportunity costs and self-regulation. Standards are listed.


  • Grade: K-12
  • Type: Lessons
  • Summary: The UNO Center for Economic Education improves the economic and financial literacy of current and future Nebraska and Western Iowa citizens by providing educational and training programs and materials for teachers of K-12 classes. Standards are listed.

Money as You Learn

  • Grade: K-12
  • Type: Lessons
  • Summary: Lessons for K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12 integrating personal finance and the common core. Math lessons are available now. English lessons coming soon.

Money Math: Lessons for Life

  • Grade: 6-8
  • Type: Lesson plans
  • Summary: Four units for middle school math students using real-life examples from personal finance. A downloadable PDF includes a teacher's guide with lesson plans, activity pages, and teaching tips. Correlations to standards are supplied.

Financial Literacy: A Primer for Librarians, Educators, and Researchers 

  • Grade: Teacher
  • Type: Article
  • Summary: Researchers have recognized the current global economic crisis which has sparked a heightened awareness of the importance of financial literacy and the need for financial education. This article highlights that awareness.

NEFE Grant Project Studies Teachers Preparedness to Teach Personal Finance

  • Grade: Teachers
  • Type: Article/Study
  • Summary:  More than 1,200 K-12 teachers, students enrolled in teacher education programs, and university teacher education faculty were surveyed to better understand their training and education in personal finance, their opinions about the importance of financial education, and their capacity to teach these topics.
  • Executive Summary ( PDF, 1.2 MB, 28 pgs.)
  • Full Report ( PDF, 893 KB, 160 pgs.)

Gen i Revolution

  • Grade: 6-12
  • Type: online game
  • Summary: This online game gives your students the chance to learn important personal finance skills as they play and compete against fellow classmates. The game includes sixteen Missions in which students attempt to help people in financial trouble. Students join the Gen I Revolution, strategically select their Operatives, and begin to explore and earn points as they work to complete each Mission.

Common Cents Lab

  • Grade: Adult
  • Type: Workshops
  • Summary: Each year, the Common Cents Lab hand-selects a small number of innovative, curious, and mission-aligned organizations to join our team for an immersive workshop in behavioral science. This year there are solutions that aim to increase the financial well-being for low- to moderate-income people living in the United States.

      Cowin Financial Literacy Program

      • Grades: 9-12
      • Type: Teacher Training; Case Studies for classroom use
      • Summary: A financial literacy initiative, designed to bring experiential learning about personal finance into under-resourced, high school classrooms. This first-of-its-kind initiative provides high school teachers with intensive professional development and customized curricula. The program offers eight free case studies that can be integrated into existing curriculum.

      Teaching the 1040 Tax Return

      • Grades: 9-12
      • Type: Resource packet
      • Summary: The Iowa Department of Revenue and the Iowa Jump$tart Coalition have created a student packet with examples, exercises, and instructions for teachers to expose students to the basics of completing an Iowa 1040 Individual Income tax return. The department welcomes any questions you may have about the information presented. Please contact idr@iowa.gov.

      EverFi - Financial Literacy 

      • Grades: 9-12
      • Type: Online Course
      • Summary: EverFi uses online gaming and simulation to introduce practical financial literacy skills. Students earn a certification upon completion of the 9, 40-minute modules. Topics include paying for higher education, investing, and credit scores. Watch a video preview of the course.

      Vault - Understanding Money (presented by EverFi) 

      • Grades: 4-6
      • Type: Online Course
      • Summary: Vault uses online gaming and simulation to introduce financial literacy skills. Students earn a certification upon completion of the 6, 40-minute modules. Topics include wants versus needs, responsible money choices, and savings versus investing. View a two-minute video demonstration of the course.  After a 10-minute training, teachers will be able to utilize the courses immediately. Please contact Lincoln at lincoln@everfi.com with questions.


      • Grades: K-12
      • Type: Teacher Reviews of resources. Searchable
      • Summary: Teachers provide reviews of economic and financial education lessons and videos from many vetted sources across the web. Over 1300 lessons are cataloged, with additional materials added monthly. 

      Practical Money Skillls

      • Grades: K-adult
      • Type: FREE resources for teachers and students
      • Summary: Many resources including:
        • Helpful Practical Money Guides on a variety of topics for students and adults
        • Comic Books with Instruction Guides
        • Financial Soccer and Financial Football Games
        • Games for K-12
        • Money 101 – A Crash Course in Money Management for college students or high school seniors

      Teaching Economics with Children's Books 

      • Grades: PK-12
      • Type: Books
      • Summary: A spreadsheet listing many children's books, with descriptions of their economic and personal finance content for teachers. Brought to you by the Dordt University Center for Economic Education. Please email vicki.vermeer@dordt.edu to have a copy emailed to you. 

      Online Simulations and Games 

      • Grades: K-12
      • Type: Simulations, Games
      • Summary: A list of simulations and games about economic principles and financial literacy that have been reviewed by Dordt University CEE staff. Organized according to grade level. Please email vicki.vermeer@dordt.edu to have a copy emailed to you. 


      Foundation for Teaching Economics

      • Grades: 9-12
      • Type: Teacher Training; student programs (on-campus summer camps), lesson plans, hot topics and more
      • Summary: Programs and teaching resources which target primarily, but not exclusively, the social studies curriculum. Active learning and the engaging activities and lessons used to teach economics. Integration of economics content with leadership development correlated with Common Core state standards and national standards in economic education.

      EconLowDown / Econ Ed at the St Louis Fed

      • Grades: K-16
      • Type: Resources, videos, classroom management, professional development, more
      • Summary: Provides award-winning, free classroom resources for pre-K through college educators to teach about economics, personal finance, money and banking, and the Federal Reserve. Their site also has free resources for consumers and parents who want to learn about these topics. Also has a discussion board, online class polling, and assessment reporting features.

      Background Resources

      Big Push for Mandatory Personal Finance Classes in School

      • Grade: Teacher
      • Type: Article
      • Summary: Reports that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau endorses mandatory personal finance classes in grades K-12.

      Federal Reserve Finance Resources

      • Grade: Teacher
      • Type: Lesson plans
      • Summary: Federal Reserve resources (lessons, activities, brochures, publications, and more) for teachers, students and the public.

      Can Games Build Financial Capability?

      • Grade: Teacher
      • Type: Article
      • Summary: A report arguing that financial literacy video games can improve financial capability.


      Practical Money Skills: Games

      • Grade: K-Adult
      • Type: Games
      • Summary: Online financial educational games for students and adults.

      Blue Chip Kids Book

      • Grade: K-8
      • Type: Book
      • Summary: This is an easy-to-understand introduction to the world of money and investing for kids and students. For every parent and teacher who wants their children or students develop the skills to invest wisely and become responsible money managers, regular savers, and to earn money while they sleep, this book is a must-have.

      Economics resources

      International Monetary Fund

      • Grade: High School - Adult
      • Type: Information and Extension resource
      • Summary: Articles on basic Economic concepts including capitalism, GDP, Micro/Macro, inflation, recession, money markets, and unemployment.

      Peak Prosperity: What is Money?

      • Grade: 9-12
      • Type: Video teaching
      • Summary: Chapter 6 of 20 chapters on money and economics (Series title: Crash Course)

      As Good As Gold

      • Grade: 9-12
      • Type: Video Teaching Series
      • Summary: Hidden Secrets of Money by Mike Maloney; Free, 6-video series about money and basic economics.