Wednesday, January 21, 2009

National Financial Wellness Month

January is National Financial Wellness Month! Now is the time to model for the kiddies! Let's teach them about the responsibility of saving and spending $$$!

Wells, Rosemary.
Bunny Money.
1997.
Puffin Books: New York, NY.

Ages: 4-8
Genre: Fiction, Math
Guided Reading Level: M

Review/Summary:

Ruby and Max have $15 to spend for their grandma's birthday present - they must spend it wisely so she gets a perfect gift! However, many emergencies await them while they are trying to find the perfect gift - the bus fare, Max is thirsty, cherry syrup oozing teeth, an unexpected trip to the laundry mat, lunchtime. Finally, they arrive at Rosalinda's Specialty Shop and find the perfect music box... but it costs $100 and looking in her wallet, Ruby realizes that they only have $5.00 left! Max and Ruby settle on bluebird earrings that sing and by the time they make the purchase and had back to the bus stop, but Max spots Glow-in-the-Dark teeth that he wants to give Grandma as well. By the time they get to the bus stop, Ruby realizes they're out of money - no money to pay for the bus fare to get back home. Their irresponsible spending results in Grandma having to drive to town to pick them up.

In this story, Max and Ruby can be used as a simple math lesson about counting and spending money. In the case of National Financial Wellness month, Max and Ruby can teach young children that they need to spend money carefully and plan ahead to make sure there's money for what's needed! Another cute book by Rosemary Wells, featuring yet another animal family!

Schwartz, David.
If You Made a Million.
1989.
Lothrop Lee & Shepard Books: New York, NY

Ages: 6-12
Genre: Fiction, Math
Guided Reading Level: O

Review/Summary:

The math magician and a group of children work to earn money. As the money is earned, Marvelosissimo the Magician helps them count the money and realize the different forms of money that exist - coins, dollars, checks, loans... Coins and dollars are traded for equivalent values (e.g. 10 pennies = 2 nickels = 1 dime, $100 = ten $10 bills = five $2o bills = one hundred $1 bills).

I have seen this book and have seen it used in classrooms with a math unit about money. However, I think that beyond the first few pages where coins are dealt with, the concepts are much too complex for young children and would best be used in an upper elementary classroom as part of a review unit on counting money and an introduction to banking.

Lesson Plans/Book Activities: