ESL Money Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan will help teachers explain money and related terms to ESL students. Students will identify bills and coins, determine their value, and create a budget.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify money and its value
  • use terms related to money
  • create a budget


This lesson will take approximately 45-90 minutes.

Curriculum Standards


Create clear and coherent grade-appropriate speech and text.


Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.


Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.


  • bill
  • buck
  • budget
  • cash
  • check
  • credit
  • coin
  • dime
  • dollar
  • money
  • nickel
  • penny
  • quarter
  • taxes

Lesson and Activities Instructions

Materials needed: various coins and bills (or pictures), grocery ads, computer/internet

Write the word 'money' on the board. Activate prior knowledge by asking students to turn and talk to a partner about all the different words they have heard used to describe money. Give pairs an opportunity to share some of their discussion. Generate a list on the board based on student answers.

Show students various bills and coins. Identify them by name and value.

Have students create a chart that names each coin and bill, states its value, and provides an example of something that could be purchased for that amount. Have students use grocery ads and computer resources to find the cost of items to add to the chart.

Identify the various methods of payments students can use when going to the grocery store. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of using cash, checks, debit cards, and credit cards.

Divide students into pairs. Tell students they will be planning a dinner party for four with their partner.

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