For Teachers

Teaching by Topic: Earning Money

Here are a bunch of tips, learning objectives, worksheets, and pre-built lesson plans to help you build your curriculum to teach students how to earn money!

classroom-with-teacher-preparing-lesson-plan

Earning money is the primary focus of students in financial education. Whether they are in Pre-K or ready to graduate high school, they have an idea of the significance of income. The money they earn will pay for their wants, needs, goods, and services and is the key to their security and happiness in adulthood. 

As a teacher or homeschooler, you want what’s best for all your students. You can find the materials you need to teach about earning money, regardless of your students’ levels. Here are the grade-level lessons, worksheets, activities and games, and crucial tips you need for teaching about earning money.  We also include earning money learning objectives for each grade, which are pulled straight from the National Standards for Personal Finance Education.

National Standards for Personal Finance Education

Download Our Free Teachers' Cheat Sheet

Our free cheat sheet covers every learning objective in the National Standards for Personal Finance Education and the corresponding Kids' Money Lesson Plans - we cover each and every standard!

Pre-K

Learning Objectives

Pre-K students can identify different uniforms and features specific to jobs. They should be able to:

  • List different types of jobs.
  • List several businesses they would be interested in.
  • Discuss the types of skills required for different kinds of jobs

Pre-K Earning Money Lesson Plans

  • KMLP: Pre-K – Workers: In this lesson, Pre-K students learn about several common jobs, seeing how they perform specific tasks and receive money. They get to dress up in costumes and pretend to work at a restaurant, linking the idea of labor with income.
  • KMLP: Pre-K – Counting Money: This lesson uses a Curious George book to show how you can work and receive payment. Students also learn about prices, how to identify costs in stores, and how income can be spent or saved.

Pre-K Earning Money Worksheets

Pre-K Earning Money Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Earning Money to Pre-K Students

  • Focus on number awareness, counting, and comparing more or less.
  • Use physical objects and play money to give kids a sense of earning money for a job.
  • Introduce student stores to show how earning money can lead to purchasing items.

For more resources on other topics, check out our Pre-K Money Lesson Plans Center.

Kindergarten

Learning Objectives

Kindergarteners see the connection between work and income. They should be able to:

  • Brainstorm ways to earn income.
  • Describe examples of goods and services.

Kindergarten Earning Money Lesson Plans

  • KMLP Kindergarten – Services: Students will read Beatrice’s Goat, showing how services can produce income. They role-play different professions, understanding that various jobs have different payments.

Kindergarten Earning Money Worksheets

*Note: Many of these materials are free but require an email to access. Alternatively, you can create many similar ones yourself since they are often simple.

Kindergarten Earning Money Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Earning Money to Kindergarten Students

  • Continue to focus on counting money.
  • Show them how different jobs require different skills with varying incomes.
  • Mix up games and activities to hold short attention spans.

For more resources on other topics, check out our Kindergarten Money Lesson Plans Center.

1st Grade

Learning Objectives

1st-graders use their money awareness and knowledge about professions to deepen income understanding. They should be able to:

  • Brainstorm ways to improve one’s ability to earn income.
  • List different types of jobs.

1st Grade Earning Money Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 1st Grade – Earning: Students read a book about different jobs, learning how people are paid and how to earn income. They use play money to see how they can spend their income, save for the future, or a combination of the two.

1st Grade Earning Money Worksheets

1st Grade Earning Money Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Earning Money to 1st Graders

  • Begin to question kids about their money/job interests.
  • Start practicing making change, showing them how different coins and bills can total the same.
  • Use online resources frequently.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 1st Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

2nd Grade

Learning Objectives

2nd-graders begin to see how more training can lead to higher pay. They should be able to:

  • Give examples of how an individual’s knowledge, skills, and experience could affect their ability to earn income.
  • People have different job choices.

2nd Grade Earning Money Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 2nd Grade – Income: Kids read a book about a class that earned money to save for a trip. They learn there are many ways to make money and saw the importance of planning for spending and saving.

2nd Grade Earning Money Worksheets

2nd Grade Earning Money Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Earning Money to 2nd Graders

  • Keep activities as hands-on as possible.
  • Focus on coin denominations and counting.
  • Build money vocabulary, including job-specific terminology, to show them the many career paths available.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 2nd Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

3rd Grade

Learning Objectives

In 3rd grade, students learn multiple ways money can be exchanged and income can be produced. They should be able to:

  • Discuss the types of knowledge, skills, and interests required for different types of jobs.
  • Understand there are different ways to be paid for labor.
  • People can earn income by lending money.

3rd Grade Earning Money Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 3rd Grade – Deposits and Withdrawals: Kids read a book about a girl who starts a car-washing service, showing them different ways to produce income. They learn how to put their money into banks and take it out through activities and worksheets.
  • KMLP 3rd Grade – Banking: Students see how the banking system works, mainly how they can use it to work with their incomes. They read a book, pretend to be bankers, and conduct various transactions with play checks.
  • KMLP 3rd Grade – Employment and Specialization: Students read a book about various career options, beginning to see what interests them. They research a given profession, seeing how different jobs fit specific people.

3rd Grade Earning Money Worksheets

3rd Grade Earning Money Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Earning Money to 3rd Graders

  • Encourage kids to dream big.
  • Have kids set specific SMART goals to learn how to reach targets.
  • Use play money and role-play often.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 3rd Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

4th Grade

Learning Objectives

4th-graders begin to understand how entrepreneurship works and how it can lead to substantial income. They should be able to:

  • See that people can earn income by starting a new business as an entrepreneur or by owning a business.
  • Estimate how much income could be earned from a business operated by children.

4th Grade Earning Money Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 4th Grade – Spending: Kids read Those Shoes, introducing the idea of managing income as they plan for expenses. They use blank checks and record their income and costs during hands-on activities.

4th Grade Earning Money Worksheets

4th Grade Earning Money Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Earning Money to 4th Graders

  • Keep hammering home coin values.
  • Start working with substituting bills and different coins to reach identical totals.
  • Push multiplication and division in money education, advancing their skills.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 4th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

5th Grade

Learning Objectives

5th-graders start to focus on careers of interest and potential incomes. They should be able to:

  • Assess personal skills and interests and match them to various career options.
  • Discuss how specific skills training can improve a young person’s income-earning potential.
  • Describe how taxes are paid on income.

5th Grade Earning Money Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 5th Grade – Budgets: Students differentiate between income and expenses, using the budgeting framework to show where their earned money goes. They participate in games and activities to reinforce their understanding of earning income and knowing how to spend it.
  • KMLP 5th Grade – Investing: This lesson introduces the idea of investing and how students can invest their income. They simulate participating in the stock market, seeing how their income can grow exponentially over time.
  • KMLP 5th Grade – Credit and Debit: This lesson focuses on students’ individual habits through reading, videos, and hands-on activities. They start to see how the money they can use the money they earn via debit cards or through credit cards.

5th Grade Earning Money Worksheets

5th Grade Earning Money Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Earning Money to 5th Graders

  • Keep students focused on multiple streams of income, showing the many ways to earn money.
  • Use digital tools to keep kids interested.
  • Focus on the different ways people get paid – salary, wages, tips, and commissions.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 5th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

6th Grade

Learning Objectives

6th-graders use research to find applicable information about earning income. They should be able to:

  • Describe the education, job, or career decisions individuals in a field might make over their lifetime.
  • Gather data on the average wage or salary for different jobs.

6th Grade Earning Money Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 6th Grade – Finance: Students create a PSA about credit, demonstrating the importance of managing their income and not getting into financial trouble. They learn about compound interest and how their income can grow.
  • KMLP 6th Grade – Standard of Living: Students look at how people live around the world, connecting back to how they live in this country. They see how incomes vary by location, job, education, and training.

6th Grade Earning Money Worksheets

6th Grade Earning Money Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Earning Money to 6th Graders

  • Have students reflect on decisions constantly, through writing or verbally.
  • Link history, math, and science to economics and money education.
  • Work in different formats – individual, partners, and groups.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 6th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

7th Grade

Learning Objectives

7th-graders see how income can come from multiple sources, including the government. They should be able to:

  • Give several examples of personal circumstances that qualify for government income support or assistance.

7th Grade Earning Money Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 7th Grade – Microeconomics: Students see that many factors impact their incomes and that every decision affects their financial future. They watch videos and PowerPoints and research entrepreneurs while seeing how government involvement influences people’s financial situations.

7th Grade Earning Money Worksheets

7th Grade Earning Money Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Earning Money to 7th Graders

  • Don’t underestimate students’ capacity to grasp concepts and understand high-level principles.
  • Work on public speaking and research.
  • Refer to risks constantly, so they understand the danger of overspending and not planning.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 7th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

8th Grade

Learning Objectives

8th-grade students hone in on potential careers, learning about income ranges and job outlooks. They should be able to:

  • Compare the education and training requirements for at least two careers.

8th Grade Earning Money Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 8th Grade – Earning Income: Students take a self-assessment and begin to narrow down career choices. They look at different career paths, incomes, and how they can supplement earnings with multiple jobs.

8th Grade Earning Money Worksheets

8th Grade Earning Money Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Earning Money to 8th Graders

  • Spend time with each student.
  • It’s okay to get off track to give personal attention in this stage of money education.
  • Bring in guest speakers and role models that can positively affect students.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 8th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

9th Grade

Learning Objectives

9th-grade students develop budgets and assess their potential financial situations based on future earnings. They should be able to:

  • Identify different types of jobs and careers where wages and salaries depend on a worker’s productivity and skills.

9th Grade Earning Money Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 9th Grade – Basic Economics: Students watch videos, read articles, analyze the information, and break down personal finance principles. They go in-depth in wants vs. needs and how they can earn income, covering more advanced ideas than they encountered in middle school.

9th Grade Earning Money Worksheets

9th Grade Earning Money Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Earning Money to 9th Graders

  • Provide options for students to show their knowledge.
  • Introduce kids to financial opportunities they can start in high school.
  • Bring in older students to partner with your 9th-graders, giving a mentor for students.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 9th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

10th Grade

Learning Objectives

10th grade brings more complexity in terms of taxes, supplemental incomes, and retirement plans. They should be able to:

  • Evaluate the benefits and costs of gig employment, such as driving for a cab or delivery service.
  • Identify several examples of tax credits.
  • Identify different potential sources of retirement income.

10th Grade Earning Money Lesson Plans

KMLP 10th Grade – Personal Finance: Students look at tax forms, deductions, and credits in detail, seeing how they impact their earnings. They look at ways to boost their incomes and to optimize them with careful planning and business plans.
KMLP 10th Grade – Microeconomics: Students look into how the government is involved in personal finance, how consumers and producers relate, and how income can come in many forms, including retirement. Students create PowerPoints to show their understanding of decision-making.

10th Grade Earning Money Worksheets

10th Grade Earning Money Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Earning Money to 10th Graders

  • With each topic, remind students that planning is critical.
  • Have students research money management tools and apps, starting now.
  • Devote class time to personal money exploration, linking their interests to higher-paying career choices.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 10th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

11th Grade

Learning Objectives

11th-graders fine-tune their decision-making and entrepreneurial skills. They should be able to:

  • Discuss the effects of an economic downturn on employment opportunities for people with different characteristics.

11th Grade Earning Money Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 11th Grade – The Entrepreneur’s Journey: Students look in-depth at the process entrepreneurs go through, from hatching an idea to successful execution. They analyze photos to strengthen their analysis skills and conduct research to see how to boost income.

11th Grade Earning Money Worksheets

11th Grade Earning Money Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Earning Money to 11th Graders

  • Focus on college costs, financial aid, or trade school applications starting in 11th grade
  • Tell them to look into FAFSA and start researching college and career options.
  • Show them how the more training they get, the higher income they receive.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 11th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

12th Grade

Learning Objectives

12th-graders look at earning money nuances, including obstacles and intangible benefits. They should be able to:

  • Explain why people should evaluate employee benefits in addition to wages and salaries when choosing between job and career opportunities.
  • Describe how intangible benefits can affect a worker’s career choices and income.
  • Explain how differences in people’s life circumstances can affect their opportunity and willingness to further their education or training.

12th Grade Earning Money Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 12th Grade – Earning Income: Students see watch a video about how to choose a career, looking at tangible and intangible benefits. They analyze whether post-secondary education is worth the investment and write an essay on earning income.

12th Grade Earning Money Worksheets

12th Grade Earning Money Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Earning Money to 12th Graders

  • Keep instruction focused on maximizing income earning.
  • Use student interests and strengths to create a personalized plan for their financial future.
  • Keep students accountable for their money education.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 12th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

About the Author

Peter Brown

Peter Brown is a National Board Certified teacher with over two decades of experience in the classroom. He loves working with students of all ages in many subjects, but particularly in practical areas like money education, to help kids achieve their goals. When he is not teaching or writing about financial literacy, you can find him surfing, hiking, skiing, or traveling to new places.

Last updated on: July 27, 2022