Writing assignment

/Writing assignment

Question: Experiences or Things? What Do You Enjoy More?


This question seems apropos given the holiday season and is a great discussion starter. Ask your students to think about the 2-3 items that they purchased in the last year that they were (and continue to be) most excited about. Would they be classified as experiences or things?

This very accessible and relatively short (914 words or about 5 minutes) Scientific American article provides some scientific research to support one purchase type over the other (bold type are my own):

It’s Thanksgiving: Time for A Gratitude Activity!

download-2What a great way to ease into the Thanksgiving holiday! See the mini-activity idea below to help students see the benefits of gratitude:

Two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, have done much of the research on gratitude. In one study, they asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics.

Looking for Writing Prompts? Here’s a Few You Could Use In Your Personal Finance Class!

imagesThe New York Times’ Learning Network posted an ambitious 500 writing prompts (with links to articles) which I skimmed in search of ones to use in your classroom:

Every school day since 2009 we’ve asked students a question based on an article in The New York Times. Now, five years later, we’ve collected 500 of them that invite narrative and personal writing and pulled them all together in one place. Consider it a companion to the list of 200 argumentative writing prompts we posted earlier this year.

Here’s ten focused on money, career and mindsets:

By |October 11th, 2016|Behavioral Finance, Career, Employment, Writing assignment|

Writing Assignment: Ten + Thought-Provoking Questions To Get Your Students Writing

I often hear from teachers interested in more ideas for writing assignments so the NGPF team compiled this list of questions to engage your students and generate some great classroom discussions too. Let students choose the question that appeals most to them or have the class concentrate on just one question. Have your students do some journaling with one or more of these questions. Use your creativity on how best to utilize them! NGPF Podcast listeners will notice that many of the questions listed below are similar to the “lightening round” that I put my guests through.

How Do You Teach Money Values and Beliefs?

Elizabeth Justema, a first-time personal finance teacher from Summit High School of Bend, Oregon, shared resources that she developed to facilitate student reflection on their money values and beliefs (listen to her podcast here). She hopes this set of resources answers a set of essential questions and achieves specific learning objectives that she outlined below:

Essential Questions:

  • What are my values/needs/wants?
  • What is my perspective on money?
  • What are the origins of those perspectives?
  • How do those perspectives affect my spending behaviors?

Students will be able to:

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Elizabeth Justema of Summit High (Bend, OR) About Teaching Money Values and Beliefs

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My conversation with Elizabeth Justema, a personal finance teacher at  Summit High School in Bend, Oregon coincides with schools opening across the country post-Labor Day. Elizabeth raised her hand when the Social Studies department created  a personal finance elective (it’s quite popular with over 250 students enrolled) for this fall. With a previous career in international marketing at Microsoft, Elizabeth has a wealth of experience to share with her students. As for her interest and knowledge of personal finance, she has her entrepreneurial parents to thank for that.

Our conversation focused on a few topics that educators will benefit from:

What Are Your Money Values?

NY Times columnist Ron Lieber out with a column over the weekend which lists 7 questions to get a conversation started about money (the sketch above from Carl Richards of NYT also):

Teachers, What If You Wrote A Money Letter To Your Students?


Ok, I admit this may seem a little far-fetched, but stick with me for a minuter here. Ron Lieber (NY Times) has a column this Saturday imploring parents to write a money letter to their kids to get a conversation going:

The Money Talk, capital “M” and capital “T,” is overrated. As with the Sex Talk, children can sense that one is coming. And if they get antsy, your words will go in one ear and out the other.

Tempted to hand over a notecard instead? Your first principles may fit on it, and making one for a new graduate is a fine thing to do. But there isn’t much space for storytelling.

So in this season of transitions, consider the old-fashioned letter. It’s long enough to tell some tales to bolster your advice, and if it’s written with enough soul, there’s a good chance the recipient will keep it for a long time. Plus, it’s a literal conversation piece, since the good letters will inspire more curiosity about how the writers oversee their own financial affairs.

What makes a good money letter (Here’s a template that a writer, Kimberly Palmer, shared with the Times):