So how is our economy doing?

In the fifth series of the 4-H Build a Million curriculum, youth will learn about the economy and investing.

The fifth series of the 4-H Build a Million curriculum teaches youth about the economy and investing, but it also teaches them decision-making skills and goal setting – just a couple of the important life skills youth will learn as they grow up. Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Development teaches many life skills so youth will become successful adults. Not only does the 4-H Build a Million curriculum teach youth money management skills, but it helps them develop an understanding of personal finance and basic investing.

This 4-H Build a Million curriculum is free to download for adults and parents to use to teach youth, but there is also an online version for youth to do hands-on learning in each of the units and lessons. The information is geared towards youth ages 14- 19 in grades 9-12, but can be adapted to younger children.

Unit five of the 4-H Build a Million curriculum covers economy and investing. There are two major lessons covered in this unit: “Investment Allocation Decisions” and “How is Our Economy Doing.”

  1. Investment Allocation Decisions. One of the activities listed is an ice breaker call Financial Quotes. Youth form small groups and look at quotes dealing with money and answer questions about what they think the quote means. This is a great way to get youth thinking about financial issues. Activities and handouts in this lesson talk about percentage rate of return when you put money into a savings account or invest. A handout on money goals can be used to show youth how much they can save. Also included in this lesson is a look at investing in your 20s and making decisions on financial goals such as a car (how important is this now and how long can you save for it).
  2. How is Our Economy Doing? In this second lesson, this question is asked and youth identify and think about key factors regarding our economy. Using copies of current newspapers for youth to research how our economy is doing and then having a discussion can help youth understand and make decisions on investing.

Follow up discussion questions are provided for both lessons for the instructor or adult volunteer to lead with youth. These discussion questions will encourage a deeper understanding of how their financial decision impacts not only themselves, but the larger economy as a whole.

For more information on the free 4-H Build a Million curriculum or to find out more about 4-H, youth money management or other projects, please contact your local MSU Extension office.

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