For Teachers

Teaching by Topic: Saving

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 save money!

classroom-with-teacher-preparing-lesson-plan

Saving money can be the difference between having financial success and not. The earlier students learn about saving, the better. Teachers and homeschoolers can help students reach their potential through direct instruction, engaging activities, and reliable assessments. 

You can find the materials you need to teach saving, regardless of your students’ levels. Here are saving-related lessons, worksheets, activities and games, and tips for each grade. We also include saving 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 understand how saving can benefit them, and they learn about the value of money. They should be able to:

  • Describe ways that people can decrease expenses to save more of their money.
  • Map out a savings plan.

Pre-K Saving Lesson Plans

  • KMLP Pre-K – Ways to Use Money: Students get to decorate their very own Save, Spend, Give jars to get an idea of where to put money, with goal-setting charts for their savings objectives. They complete class tasks, receive play money as income and choose what to spend it on at the classroom store.

Pre-K Saving Worksheets

Pre-K Saving Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Saving to Pre-K Students

  • Every exposure to saving counts, from coloring to cartoons.
  • Give your pre-K students ownership and choice in their learning.
  • Don’t be afraid to use technology, even at this age.

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

Kindergarten

Learning Objectives

Kindergarteners grasp coin values and identification, and teachers can move into how to save more than spend. They should be able to:

  • Understand people differ in their values and attitudes about saving.
  • Give an example to illustrate the importance of having some money set aside for emergencies.

Kindergarten Saving Lesson Plans

  • KMLP Kindergarten – Choices: This lesson shows the importance of making the right choices in life, which is connected to making good decisions like saving money. Students read a story and a fable, both showing the consequences of choices.
  • KMLP Kindergarten – Money Denominations: This lesson focuses on the different bills and coins, and shows students how much each is worth. It emphasizes why people save money and how important it is to avoid spending all of your money.

Kindergarten Saving Worksheets

Kindergarten Saving Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Saving to Kindergarten Students

  • Reward kids for saving whenever possible, as their instinct is likely to spend instead.
  • Give plenty of time for students to personalize their work, like mason jars, piggy banks, or coloring and counting pages.
  • Emphasize money values and give examples of what they can buy with those coins and bills.

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

1st Grade

Learning Objectives

In this grade, students see the cause and effect of spending more than they save. They should be able to:

  • Describe ways that people can decrease expenses to save more of their money.
  • Explain how a person’s friends and family can influence their values and attitudes about saving.

1st Grade Saving Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 1st Grade – Saving: In this lesson, students learn more about money denominations, read a story about the joy of saving money, and create personal artwork about a savings goal. They play a game to reinforce the importance of saving and see how others can impact your savings attitude.

1st Grade Saving Worksheets

1st Grade Saving Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Saving to 1st Graders

  • Let kids save play money for several days, and then let them choose a larger prize.
  • Keep the focus on coin values and identification.
  • Make a competition out of the activities, giving awards to top savers.

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

2nd Grade

Learning Objectives

2nd-graders know how to set aside money for savings, but need guidance on specific strategies to use. They should be able to:

  • Explain why it is often harder to save than to spend money.
  • Describe ways that people can decrease expenses to save more of their money.

2nd Grade Saving Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 2nd Grade – Income: In this lesson, kids read How the Second Grade Got $8,205.50 to visit the Statue of Liberty, which illustrates how to save efficiently. They continue to work on counting coins and see how decreasing expenses leads to more savings and building wealth.

2nd Grade Saving Worksheets

2nd Grade Saving Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Saving to 2nd Graders

  • Without a solid grasp on counting money and knowing values, your 2nd graders will struggle, so activities should revolve around these ideas.
  • Keep them engaged with lots of games.
  • Have students dream of what they will save for.

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

3rd Grade

Learning Objectives

3rd-graders are ready to move on to the logistics of saving: where to put their money and why. They should be able to:

  • Identify safe places for people to keep their money.
  • Understand that financial institutions often pay interest on deposit accounts.

3rd Grade Saving Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 3rd Grade – Banking: Students read If You Made a Million, learning how to save money and where to put it so it can grow safely. They role-play a banking setting to understand the different services that banks offer, including savings accounts.
  • KMLP 3rd Grade – Accounts: Through Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock, your 3rd graders will see how essential saving is to their financial future. They also complete a reading comprehension activity about saving, strengthening their money skills.
  • KMLP 3rd Grade – Interest: This lesson introduces the idea of interest, showing students they can grow their savings thanks to the added interest income. They read a story, complete an activity, and play an online game to continue building their abilities.

3rd Grade Saving Worksheets

3rd Grade Saving Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Saving to 3rd Graders

  • Encourage students to experiment and fail: these are teachable moments.
  • Show them how saving can lead to gratification and feelings of success.
  • Continue pushing counting money and making change.

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

4th Grade

Learning Objectives

4th-graders analyze how every individual is different, including in their savings habits. They should be able to:

  • Give an example of buying something now versus saving money for the future and explain how they would make that decision.
  • Discuss how life circumstances and experiences can cause people to differ in their values and attitudes about saving and their ability to save.
  • Explain why financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, pay interest to depositors.

4th Grade Saving Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 4th Grade – Saving: This lesson has students watch videos, read a story, and complete activities that all revolve around saving money. It goes into interest, why people’s attitudes and situations differ in savings, and why having a plan is critical.

4th Grade Saving Worksheets

4th Grade Saving Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Saving to 4th Graders

  • Your kids’ math skills take a giant leap in this grade. Encourage and push them in multiplication and division.
  • Work with decimals, rounding change to dollars, and estimating prices.
  • Use role-play often, as 4th graders enjoy learning through acting things out.

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

5th Grade

Learning Objectives

5th-grade students see how important decision-making is in saving. They should be able to:

  • Identify the most common reasons that people save money for the future.
  • Compare and contrast different types of financial institutions and their products and services.
  • Discuss how savings decisions can affect financial wellbeing.

5th Grade Saving Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 5th Grade – Investing: Students compare saving and investing, learning about the different ways they can put their income to work. They read an excerpt from a book, create a poster board presentation, and play a stock market simulation to compare returns and risk to savings accounts.
  • KMLP 5th Grade – Budgets: This lesson shows students how to save with purpose, make a plan to save, and stick with it. They participate in independent, partner, and group work to plan for savings success.

5th Grade Saving Worksheets

5th Grade Saving Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Saving to 5th Graders

  • Have students work on developing systems for saving.
  • Have kids create savings plans and monitor their progress.
  • Encourage career exploration and income, pushing them to see how much they could save.

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

6th Grade

Learning Objectives

At this level, students start to form concrete strategies to save consistently. They should be able to:

  • Create a savings plan that will allow someone to make a large purchase.
  • Discuss how savings decisions can affect financial wellbeing.

6th Grade Saving Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 6th Grade – Shortage: In this lesson, students see the importance of savings through a historical lens, looking at wants vs. needs and surviving in challenging times. They learn about shortages and why conserving resources and saving money regularly can protect them from downturns.

6th Grade Saving Worksheets

6th Grade Saving Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Saving to 6th Graders

  • Use play money and student stores to encourage saving.
  • Have students research different savings accounts and institutions.
  • Research-based activities often deliver the most return at this age.

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

7th Grade

Learning Objectives

7th-graders get into the reasons behind saving, to see what kinds of goods and services they can target with their savings. They should be able to:

  • Understand that people save money for many different purposes, including large purchases such as cars and homes, education costs, retirement, and emergencies.

7th Grade Saving Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 7th Grade – Personal Finance: Students see why people save money with detailed plans, understanding that budgets are crucial for saving success. They watch informational videos, read articles, view a PowerPoint, and make a collage to show their savings plans.

7th Grade Saving Worksheets

7th Grade Saving Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Saving to 7th Graders

  • Build confidence with group work and public speaking.
  • Assign specific tasks to show kids they can reach savings goals with dedicated objectives.
  • Have students develop detailed reflection processes to stay on track with their savings.

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

8th Grade

Learning Objectives

In 8th grade, kids learn about many different accounts and weigh the pros and cons. They should be able to:

  • Understand that checking and saving deposit accounts in many financial institutions are insured up to certain limits by the federal government.
  • Identify types of accounts that do not offer deposit insurance.

8th Grade Saving Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 8th Grade – Saving: Students learn the details of saving accounts, seeing how the federal government insures specific accounts. They learn about risk and interest rates to see how their money can grow and what risk tolerance they may have.

8th Grade Saving Worksheets

8th Grade Saving Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Saving to 8th Graders

  • Show your 8th-graders specific apps and websites to research savings accounts.
  • For each activity, have students develop a specific goal they will personally try to reach.
  • Make activities team competitions – middle schoolers love to compete!

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

9th Grade

Learning Objectives

9th-graders jump into the banking services and features consumers can find. They should be able to:

  • Understand that deposit account interest rates and fees vary based on market conditions.
  • Compare and contrast the features of mobile payment accounts, cryptocurrency accounts, and checking/ savings accounts.

9th Grade Saving Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 9th Grade – Banks and Banking: Students learn how banks work, their services, and how different savings vehicles have various rates. They look at how the Federal Reserve sets rates and how their savings terms are directly affected.
  • KMLP 9th Grade – Basic Economics: As your 9th-graders dive into the topic of savings, they see how economic principles tie into their personal finance. They learn about scarcity, choice, and decision-making motives factor into their financial success.

9th Grade Saving Worksheets

9th Grade Saving Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Saving to 9th Graders

  • Create binders specific to saving, where students can store their materials.
  • Have kids dive deeply into research about savings accounts and how to manage their income.
  • Kids can reflect on short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals; adjusting them is okay!

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

10th Grade

Learning Objectives

10th-graders go into more depth with employers and government contributions and incentives. They should be able to:

  • Explain how an employer match of employee contributions to its retirement plan provides an incentive for employees to save.

10th Grade Saving Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 10th Grade – Microeconomics: This lesson covers saving, specifically the role of governments and employers in offering incentives and setting policies to encourage saving. Students learn about the economy’s structure and how people can make wise saving decisions.

10th Grade Saving Worksheets

10th Grade Saving Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Saving to 10th Graders

  • Work with students to create SMART savings goals for practical things: cars, computers, etc.
  • Make a game out of activities, with rewards for the winners.
  • Use current events to show how personal finance is affected by circumstances in the world.

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

11th Grade

Learning Objectives

11th-grade students reflect on what kinds of habits they have and work on positive spending routines. They should be able to:

  • Discuss strategies for avoiding personal triggers that result in deviating from a savings plan.

11th Grade Saving Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 11th Grade – Supply and Demand: This lesson looks at fundamental economic principles, linking the information to students’ lives, decision-making, and peer pressure. They learn about tools and strategies they can use to counteract emotional decisions that impact their savings plans.

11th Grade Saving Worksheets

11th Grade Saving Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Saving to 11th Graders

  • Dedicate time every day for students to work on savings goals.
  • Follow up with one-on-one consultations with each student regularly.
  • Always point out the tradeoff or opportunity cost of making a choice, teaching them to analyze their decision-making process.

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

12th Grade

Learning Objectives

In 12th grade, students look at the many savings products and decide what is best for their immediate future. They should be able to:

  • Compare the features of regular savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs.
  • Illustrate how inflation can reduce the purchasing power of savings over time if the nominal interest rate is lower than the inflation rate.

12th Grade Saving Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 12th Grade – Saving: Students dig deeper into savings, seeing how the influence of inflation can directly affect their money. They learn which account types best combat inflation and make a PowerPoint comparing and contrasting different types of savings accounts.

12th Grade Saving Worksheets

12th Grade Saving Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Saving to 12th Graders

  • Many 12th-graders are unprepared for their financial future. Make a saving plan with each student.
  • Discuss alternatives to college from a financial standpoint. It’s not for everyone; they can save for another goal.
  • Give plenty of class time for students to research the best savings tools, apps, and accounts.

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