As a teacher of 8th-grade students, you know their present potential and how close they are to entering the real world. Their financial future looms large, and your job is to teach them the concepts that matter the most. In this grade, your learners should learn about earning income, spending, saving, investing, managing credit, and managing risk, according to the National Standards for Personal Financial Education. If you need to access ready-to-teach lesson plans that cover these vital topics, head over to the 8th grade money lesson plans page to download all the 8th-grade lessons you need.
However, if you are looking for games and activities to boost your lessons, take a peek at these exercises. They will be valuable additions to your classroom instruction, giving your students the edge they need to help them achieve financial success. Whether you choose games, worksheets, or interactive websites, you can find exciting supplements to your financial program in the classroom. Let’s see some excellent activities to keep your 8th-graders money education rolling along.
Activities About Earning Income
There are several approaches to teaching kids about earning income: how to do it, the way it works, and what jobs pay more than others. These activities reinforce these concepts in a way that 8th-graders will relate to and understand.
Have students think of a money goal they would like to reach by the end of the school year, like a classroom party or a field trip to a local amusement park. They need to outline the path to reach their goal, including how much it will cost, how to earn the money as a class to achieve it (recycling, bake sales, etc.), and then reward them at the end of the year when they make it happen.
Making Money Brainstorm
Any educator can create this no-prep activity quickly, making it a practical and straightforward way to show kids the many ways to raise cash. Have partners come up with the most ways to make money, listing them on a sheet or poster as they go, and the ones with the most money-making pathways wins (what 8th-grader doesn’t like healthy competition?).
Some lessons and activities are best left to the experts, and many professionals love to work with students of all ages, including your 8th-graders. Whether you reach out to a bank, financial services firm, or career speaker, you can help your kids understand more about money than the standard curriculum by enlisting these experts to reinforce and enhance what you teach.
In this simple activity, learners imagine they have launched twenty years into the future, looking at it with a financial focus. Have them research online, where they can list their career, annual salary, possessions, rent or mortgage payments, and other expenses to see if they have a realistic vision of where they will be in a few decades.
Star Banks Adventure
You can use the Star Banks Adventure app to reinforce money concepts in a fun format, letting kids play a game where they prevent financial madness and handle money responsibly. You can set aside a portion of class time or homework for kids to play on this app and not worry about them being stuck to a screen, trusting that their choices will help form positive habits down the road.
Earned Income and Skill Demand Activities
If you need a quick activity that shows students how salaries, college, and training are connected, you can have kids watch a brief video about it. This video (see Module 3) is a self-contained activity that piques student interest, showing them the skills and majors that lead to the most earned income in the future and giving them ideas of careers they may find interesting.
The Uber Game
Many kids think the gig economy is a surefire way to financial freedom, with high pay and flexible work. In this game, students see the reality of many gig jobs, such as Uber and driving for a restaurant delivery service: they often don’t pay as much as needed to live comfortably.
Activities About Saving
Saving is one of the essential skills 8th-graders can learn, and one way to hammer it home is to create activities and games that kids can play and learn.
Rollin’ With It!
In this activity from the University of Arizona, students take the role of a high school student who spends his paycheck randomly, without planning how he can manage money wisely. They will learn the many expenses that come up in life, how to prepare for them, and the value of saving money along the way.
Spending Plan Shake-Up
Another exercise from the University of Arizona, Spending Plan Shake-Up, this one requires kids to use their bag of goodies to make wise spending and savings decisions. They will learn that they need to put needs before wants, save as much as possible for significant purchases, and more, making this activity engaging and interesting for kids.
Uncle Mort Makes it Better
This worksheet activity offers students a chance to calculate savings based on specific rates. Uncle Mort gives kids an amount of money that makes interest each year, giving students hands-on practice with savings accounts and how they can benefit people so much in their futures.
This interactive online game is a fun and exciting way for students to learn about budgeting, with an animated website and compelling characters. They see how critical longer-period savings and investments are, avoiding the urge to buy every short-term want that arises, giving them a toolkit to use as they go through high school and beyond.
Hit the Road: A Financial Adventure
If you want your students to enjoy learning about savings and budgeting, this game could be the solution you need. Learners navigate along a virtual road trip, face many choices that affect their experience, and see how risk management, budget creation, and responsible spending all come together to help your 8th-graders succeed.
Articles about Investing
Your young learners may not have employment or steady income yet to devote to investing, but they are at an ideal age to learn how it works. These activities are outstanding supplements to your core instruction on investing.
Your students can fill out this worksheet that demonstrates the power of compound interest. It walks students through the many steps required to calculate compound interest and shows the magic of investing over time and increasing money like a snowball rolling down the hill.
Saving vs. Investing
This video activity describes the benefits of investing compared to savings, showing students the long-term benefits of putting their money to work over long periods. You can have students create a T-chart that lists the benefits of both approaches and the types of goals that fit best with each method.
The Rule of 72 Activity
Your 8th-graders can learn about the vital concept of the Rule of 72, which helps you calculate how long it will take for your money to double. This short video will inform your kids about this rule, how it applies to saving and investing, and how they can use it to steer their way to financial security.
This stock market simulation game is excellent for budding investors, whether students play it in groups or online. You build your portfolio and see how it would perform over twenty years, giving you a data-based simulation that proves a trusted point: sticking to diversified and index funds will produce winners in the long term.
Activities About Managing Credit and Risk
Kids at this age can see how credit works and how to manage it correctly, and these exercises show them how to handle the power of credit appropriately.
This online activity encourages students to start thinking about college, looking at how their choices will affect how much it will cost and how to avoid debt. Debt is a severe problem for many college grads, and 8th-graders can begin to develop good habits to avoid going into debt when they go on to college.
Kids can have fun in this game as they take on the job of a loan shark, charging customers extremely high interest rates on loans they take out. Players rack up points by overcharging underqualified or unprepared borrowers, showing the danger of some loans and lending practices.
Credit scores are complex and mysterious to many adults, not to mention 8th-grade students. This interactive site provides students with a dynamic and engaging way to learn what different factors impact their credit scores, and they see how to raise scores by adopting specific habits.
If your students like football, they will love learning about financial concepts through an exciting football game. They will learn how to make quick decisions using data and changing circumstances, just like they would in a football game – or with financial choices throughout their lives.