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Lesson Plan: Introducing A Classroom Economy to your Students
Lesson Plan: Introducing A Classroom Economy to your Students

Co-create your classroom economy with your students to increase engagement and ownership.

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Written by ClassEquity
Updated over a week ago

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  • Have an idea of what classroom jobs, bonus opportunities, reasons to be fined, and classroom store items you want to include so that you can nudge your students in the right direction πŸ˜‰


  • Have students brainstorm everything they know about the word "economy" (mind map, sticky notes, poster board, free write, etc.).

  • Sample prompting questions can include:

    • Have you ever had a job?

    • Have you ever purchased something with your own money?

    • Have you ever sold anything?

    • What is the difference between needs and wants?

  • Have students share their responses.

  • Scaffolding Opportunity/Extension lesson for grades 3-5:

Introduce Classroom Jobs:

  • Explain that your classroom will have its own economy this year, where students will earn money to purchase goods. They will each get their own "bank account" to keep track of their account balance, and make deposits and withdraws.

  • Brainstorm different jobs students see in your community and why they are important. Now brainstorm which jobs your students wish to include in your economy to help your class run smoothly.

  • Agree upon different salaries for each job depending on the difficulty of the position (Pro-tip: Predetermine what you want your students to answer here so you can lead them to a reasonable amount).

  • If you include the "Student" job, explain that students will get a set salary for coming to school and being a student in your class (their main job right now!). Explain that they will also have the opportunity to apply for another job to earn additional income.

  • Explain that students will submit job applications for their top three job choices and be hired for a position.

Introduce Rent:

  • Explain that each month, students will be responsible for paying bills, such as rent for their desks, to practice budgeting in a safe environment.

  • Emphasize that all students are welcome in your classroom, even if they do not have enough to pay rent. Students will never be kicked out of class or denied resources, and you will work with them individually to create a re-payment plan if necessary.

Introduce Bonuses and Fines:

  • Share that students can earn additional income by going above and beyond or may be charged for breaking classroom expectations.

  • Have students brainstorm what each looks like and assign corresponding bonuses and fines.

Introduce Classroom Store:

  • Lastly, allow students to make a list of all the rewards they would enjoy working towards.

  • Check out our recommendations for free reward ideas.


  • Have students log in to their ClassEquity account (either via class code or with the pre-created accounts you made).

  • Send students a bonus for their awesome collaboration, and show them how to deposit it into their bank account.

  • Give students a few minutes to explore the job board, choose their profile picture, etc.

Extra Credit:

  • Give your students a financial literacy pre-test!

  • Have your students create ClassEquity credit cards and decorate them as a fun activity and to make logging in a breeze!

Once your economy is up and running, hold students accountable for their actions. Reminding students that they helped create your classroom economy increases motivation, responsibility, and engagement. Check out more Tips and Tricks to help you start strong!

Any suggestions for introducing ClassEquity to your students? We'd love to hear from you! Send us an email at [email protected], or shoot us an email below :)

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