The current issue of Social Education has a great article discussing how to teach kids about the current economic crisis and the need for effective financial literacy training. The author, C. Frederick Risinger, argues that we as social studies teachers believe that financial literacy is important but seldom actually teach it as part of our curricula. But when we do, it can have a dramatic impact in the behavior of our students:

A 2007 study conducted by the group Working In Support of Education found that after students participated in a financial literacy program, the number who saved money on a regular basis rose 14 percent, the number who established financial goals rose 20 percent, and the number who developed a spending plan or budget rose 26 percent.

The first few links below are taken from Risinger’s article and give some context to the current economic situtation.

The next few are links that should help you develop strong financial literacy units as part of your instruction:

It All Adds Up – A site for teens who want to get a head start on their financial future

The Mint – . . . packed with fun activities, games, challenges, quizzes and tests for students and teens, tips for parents, and entertaining programs and lesson plans for teachers. When it comes to helping kids be money smart, our ideas are minty fresh.

Kansas Council for Economic Education – Be sure to check out the Personal Finance Challenge

Creditability – Play a virtual simulation . . . Take a journey into the world of money and credit. Choose a bank account! Buy a house! Avoid the identity fraudsters! Do all these and more playing Creditability.

Buck Institute for Education – The BIE has some great econ problem-based learning units

International Monetary Fund – Lots of interactive games and lesson plans here

Economic Education Web – A large list of econ and financial literacy lessons

EconEdLink – Another large list of lesson plans

Have fun!