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Learning to save future projects

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Age group

Students ages 10 and 11



Time required

5 hours

Broad areas of learning

Environmental awareness and consumer rights and responsibilities

Activity summary

Students learn the principles of saving and budgeting by playing a game. They then apply what they have learned to carry out a school project.

Financial skills

  • Creating a budget
  • Saving


Subject-specific competencies



Progressions of learning


  • To reason using mathematical concepts and processes

  • Matches a decimal number with a fraction or percentage

Other subject-specific competencies

  • The challenge cards (in the game) will help reinforce concepts from English language arts and mathematics class.

Cross-curricular competencies

  • Cooperates with others
  • Communicates appropriately


Students discover the principles of saving and borrowing by calculating interest and learning how to make a budget.


Time required

60 minutes

Task 1

Calculating interest

Task 1 objective

By the end of the task, students will be able to calculate the interest on a loan and work with decimal numbers.


  • Start by determining how much the students know about interest.
  • Explain how interest is calculated and use the Internet to explore interest rates. With the students, discuss the differences between interest rates for savings and interest rates for loans
  • Hand out the Interest Adds Up! worksheet.
  • Give students time to complete the exercises, working alone or in teams of 2.
  • Correct the worksheets as a group.


Time required

60 minutes

Task 2

Creating a budget

Task 2 objective

By the end of this task, students will be able to create budgets to save for something they want to do or to fund a future purchase.


  • First determine how much the students know about budgeting.
  • Explain that a budget shows how much money is coming in (income) and how much is being spent (expenses).
  • Display the Creating a Budget worksheet on the board and read the background explanation to the students.
  • Hand out the worksheet and ask the students to complete the Income and expenses section, working alone or in teams of 2.
  • With the students, go through the worksheet display it on the board so they can compare and correct their answers.
  • Ask the students to answer the question at the bottom of the board.
  • Discuss their answers.


Students reinforce their knowledge of saving and budgeting by playing a board game.


Time required

120 minutes preparation 60 minutes to complete a game

Task 1

The play to save game

Task 1 objective

By the end of the task, students will have reinforced their knowledge of saving, using a game that involves planning a school trip.


  • Become familiar with the materials used in the Play to Save Game.
  • Ask students to come up with questions and answers about math and english language arts concepts.
  • Print the Challenge cards on heavy blue stock and hand the printed sheets out to the students so they can write their questions and answers on them. Have the students cut out the Challenge cards.
  • Print copies of the account statement, making one for each student.
  • Print the Saving cards on heavy green stock. Print the Chance cards on heavy yellow stock.
  • Print the game board.
  • Ask each student to choose a playing piece. Use small objects like paperclips, coins, coloured tokens and so forth. You’ll also need dice.
  • Read the rules of the game to the class.
  • Start the game. As play proceeds, colour in the amount of money students win when they answer challenges correctly, and the number of steps they go back if they don’t (based on the question’s degree of difficulty).


Students apply their knowledge by carrying out a school project.


Time required


Suggest that the students draw up a budget for a school project. See Organizing a fundraising activity.