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November 19, 2014

21st Century Interdisciplinary Theme

Financial, Economic, Business and Entrepreneurial Literacy

According to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, schools must not only focus on mastery of core subjects, but also promote understanding of academic content at much higher levels by weaving 21st century interdisciplinary themes into core subjects. One of these themes is financial, economic, business and entrepreneurial literacy, which involves knowing how to make appropriate personal economic choices, understanding the role of the economy in society and using entrepreneurial skills to enhance workplace productivity and career options.

Here are some ideas to help you incorporate financial, economic, business and entrepreneurial literacy into your students’ subject-area studies.

Money Moment$

Financial Literacy: TEACH IT! is a multimedia professional development resource that includes 21 short videos demonstrating effective teaching of each of the seven financial literacy standards in elementary, middle and high school classrooms.

The seven standards relate to Income and Education, Money Management, Credit and Debt, Saving and Investing, Critical Consumer, Community and Responsibility and Risk Management. In addition, the resource includes links to lesson plans and activities to help educators teach each standard, as well as information for parents.

All video episodes are available on the TEACH IT! website. A Professional Learning Community Guide for TEACH IT! offers ideas for educators to discuss teaching techniques, assess current practices and take a more reflective approach to instruction. The guide is available as a PDF file to freely download.

Financial Literacy: TEACH IT! was created by the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board (ECB) in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions and Wisconsin Public Television. The project was guided by a 20-member advisory committee.


Flocabulary, producer of educational hip-hop videos, has developed a new content series for teaching financial literacy to students in grades 6–12. The collection of 12 hip-hop videos and accompanying classroom activities supports lessons on budgeting, college loans, credits cards and other financial literacy topics.

Flocabulary produced the videos in partnership with The City University of New York (CUNY) and the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC).

Each of the 12 units in Flocabulary’s series teaches a financial literacy topic with an original hip-hop video, providing a subject overview to engage students. Corresponding interactive lyrics offer in-depth explanations of concepts covered, and classroom activities allow students to demonstrate personal finance knowledge through hands-on practice. Each unit in the series incorporates key financial vocabulary to reinforce students’ financial fluency. The series aligns with The Council for Economic Education’s National Standards for Financial Literacy.

What to Spend. How to Save.

Fostering Financial Literacy in ESL Classrooms Using New Media Tools is a collection of free lessons provided by KQED Education in which students learn about managing money, banking, credit, debt, home financing and loans while practicing listening, reading, speaking and writing skills. With the integration of new media tools into the curriculum, educators will be able to engage ESL learners by making unfamiliar financial concepts as concrete as possible.

Money at the Core

Money as You Learn offers educators tools to integrate personal finance into the teaching of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts as well as into other classes and after-school programs. This approach can provide students with essential personal finance understandings and skills as well as strengthen teaching of the Common Core through meaningful, real-world contexts and applications. It can also enhance the crosscutting skills such as problem solving, research and analysis called for in the Common Core.

Money as You Grow was recommended as an initiative from the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability. The initiative offers 20 essential, age-appropriate financial lessons—with corresponding activities—that children need to know as they grow. Written in down-to-earth language for children and their families, Money as You Grow will help equip children with the knowledge they need to live fiscally fit lives. The lessons in Money as You Grow are based on more than a year of research and drawn from dozens of standards, curricula and academic studies.

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