Culturally Responsive Personal Finance

Culturally Responsive Personal Finance

Culturally Responsive Personal Finance Lesson Collection: The lessons contained in this collection are integrated, interdisciplinary, and student-centered. The topics and issues are related to the students' background and culture. The lessons challenge students to develop higher-order knowledge and skills. The lessons recognize and respect that students from different cultures learn in different ways and value different things. Students' expectations and motivations for learning are different and the lessons are written in a manner that maximizes learning opportunities.

Pro tip: Each lesson plan is formatted as a Google Document. One of the advantages of this format is that teachers can make personalized edits to the lessons based on their class. You will automatically be prompted to make a copy of the lesson once you click on it.


Lesson Collection

In this lesson students will learn about financial institutions and various financial services. The lesson gives students an opportunity to review the choices available for banking, then choose the option(s) that best fit(s) their needs and the needs of their family.

Booshke Giin – It’s up to you; it’s your decision includes activity-based lessons that provide opportunities for youth to explore basic financial topics in a storytelling format. Each lesson is self-contained and may be used in any order, as a series, or as a single stand-alone activity:

  • Lesson #1: Values and Goals

  • Lesson #2: Needs and Wants

  • Lesson #3: Good Decision-Making

  • Lesson #4: Money & Resource Choices/Spending Plans

This lesson is a great way to introduce the concept of budgeting. One major distinction to make before the activity is needs, wants, and obligations. Take some example things such as a cell phone, Cable TV, etc. and discuss which category it falls in.

Students are Introduced to personal finance topics by categorizing and sorting various terms related to personal finance. Students work together to design the categories and discuss how these terms are, or are not, related.

Paying for higher education is a major challenge in the United States. The lesson is a guide on different ways to pay for college and also opens doors of communication with the parents or caregivers on expectations and ability to pay. Parents and caregivers are usually not present in a personal finance classroom with the students. An interview helps students and parents or caregivers have important conversations about personal finance decisions related to pursuing higher education.

The lesson is a great way to start a semester personal finance class or to introduce the general personal finance topic. Students will be creating a timeline of their future by setting goals at different ages. Some typical goals students come up with include having children, traveling, etc. Each goal has a price tag, and students will connect how their money needs to be managed well in order to reach their goals.

The lesson can be used as a summative assessment for each of the main topics of personal finance to allow students to be creative in coming up with an answer. There are no right or wrong answers for these scenarios, as people value things differently. The lesson can also be split up and inserted into each unit as a discussion tool.

Approaching and entering a large bank to open a new account can be a difficult and intimidating process for those not familiar with how financial institutions operate. This lesson plan will inform students of their options when choosing whether or not to put their money in conventional banks/credit unions as well as provide for them advantages and disadvantages of other non-traditional options.

This resource guide produced by MCEE contains articles to better understand culturally relevant teaching; webinars that support the need for culturally sustaining pedagogy; and webinars and websites that contain curriculum and lessons relevant to racial justice.


The curriculum is brought to you by the Minnesota Council on Economic Education. The lessons are the product of the shared efforts of Joel Coleman (MCEE Master Teacher, Ubah Medical Academy), Jamie Shaw (MCEE Master Teacher, Champlin Park High School), and Jennifer Garbow (University of Minnesota).

The Minnesota Council on Economic Education gratefully appreciates the multiyear support of our Culturally Responsive Personal Finance instruction from the F.R. Bigelow Foundation and the St. Paul Foundation.