Loraine A. Tate, Science 7 teacher in Prince George's County, MD

Last month, our 7th grade students went on a field trip to the skating rink. It was a great trip! A one-hour interactive STEM lesson followed by lunch & 2.5 hours of skating. I am not a skater, so I watched. I watched as student after student purchased their food & snacks, tapping their cards for payment. They looked so unbothered. Was it cash app? Was it debit? Was it credit? Was the sky the limit?   

While students using cards for payment seems futuristic, acquiring funds to make purchases is not. Our students will need to be on a path towards becoming financially literate, especially as more and more states are requiring personal finance and/or economics courses in order to graduate from high school. Welcome to Financial Literacy for Middle School.

Here are 5 tips for keeping your students engaged while learning

Access the Free Course: FutureSmart: Financial Literacy for Middle School

Future Smart takes about 3-4 hours to complete, so carve out about 30 minutes a day, 2-3 days a week from now until winter breakFuture Smart is self-directed as it narrates for students, but you still want to introduce them to the concept of why money mattersEngage students in the vocabulary: needs, wants, opportunity cost, income, expensesHave students explore what in their lives are needs and wants. After students make their lists, introduce the vocabulary and see what items they shift.  

Help students plan their future lifestyle

FutureSmart: Financial Literacy for Middle School has 7 modules. In module 1, students get to explore their financial status – what is important to them, how they think about money, and a profile is built to identify their relationship with the concept of moneyOnce they become Mayor, students are introduced to people in the town that need financial help. The people & their situations are relatable to middle school students. Listen to the rich conversations as the students engage in debates over bedspreads.

Access the Free Course: SmartEconomics: Economics for Middle School

In SmartEconomics: Economics for Middle School, students engage in understanding the economy  — why does the latest game system cost so much when it first comes out, but a year later is half the price? Lesson 1 takes the entrepreneurial route as they learn about the role their consumer habits play on pricing & the ability to be a business owner. What will you do when certain products sell better than others? How much can you sell your items for? This allows students to think about what they are paying for their favorite items.   

Help students understand the real-world state of the economy

In modules 2 & 3, students learn about how government decision making impacts the cost of goods and how it impacts the world when it comes to buying and tradingUse the lesson plans provided by EVERFI to experience the real world state of the economy (worksheets included!) 

Help students practice starting their own business

Access the free course: Venture: Entrepreneurial Expedition for a full entrepreneurial experience! Students can experience the power of their financial decisions as they are responsible for running their own food truck business! 

Each Everfi course comes with a course overview, lesson plans, and pre & post assessments. You can even preview the course and complete the modules yourself, which helps with any questions students may have. 

Get your students started on their path to financial literacy and watch their decisions make cents.  

Winter Giveaway! 

❄️Guess what? The FutureSmart and SmartEconomics courses are included in EVERFI’s Winter Giveaway Incentive. Educators who sign up and use our fan-favorite EVERFI courses with their students from November 13th – December 15th will be entered to win one of nine $500 Amazon Gift cards. Winners will be drawn on Fridays in December


Loraine A. Tate Science 7 teacher Prince George's County, MD

During my 23 years of teaching, I taught 4th & 5th grade. Never thought I would leave elementary school, but these last 7 years in middle school have been both challenging & rewarding. My favorite yearly task is the STEM fair project. To watch students, transition from “I’ll just google it” to conducting investigations to test their hypotheses, or designing to solve problems shows what our students are capable of when given the opportunity and knowledge to practice skills that will take them where they want to go.