Currency Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Adrianne Baron

Adrianne has taught high school and college biology and has a master's degree in cancer biology.

Kids learn fairly early on that it takes money to buy the things they like. Your students will have fun learning more about currency as they read and discuss a lesson, complete a currency exchange worksheet, create their own currency as a group and take a quiz.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define currency
  • Explain the importance of currency
  • Identify currencies from different countries
  • Convert money based on the currency exchange rate


1.5 hours

Curriculum Standards


Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.


Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.


Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.


  • Copies of the Money Facts: Lesson for Kids text lesson
  • Copies of the lesson quiz
  • Student computers
  • Projector
  • Transparency showing different currencies
  • Transparency of the lesson quiz
  • Currency exchange worksheet (either create one or find one online)
  • Printer paper
  • Colored pencils, markers, crayons


  • Begin the lesson by asking your students what they need to have in order to buy something new from the store like clothes, shoes and video games. They will likely say money.
  • Let them know that they are going to learn a lot more about money as they read the Money Facts: Lesson for Kids text lesson.
  • Read and discuss the lesson together as a class by having different students each read a paragraph in the lesson.
  • After reading from the beginning through the 'History of Currency' section, ask and discuss:
    • What is bartering?
    • Give an example of when you used bartering to get something you wanted.
    • When did paper money start being used?
    • What is beginning to replace paper money?
  • Continue reading through the 'Money Around the World' section. Then ask and discuss:
    • What is currency?
    • What are the names of currencies in other countries? (Project the pictures of currencies on the board and see if they are able to identify any of the currencies. Tell them each one if they are not able to guess it on their own.)
    • Which currency is the most commonly used?
    • How do you think countries use currencies with each other?
  • Read through 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' section, then ask and discuss:
    • What are you able to do when you have a lot of money?
    • What is bankruptcy?
    • How do people go bankrupt?
  • Read the 'Lesson Summary' to your students and emphasize important terms and points.

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