Simple Interest Activities & Games

Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

If your class is learning about using mathematical concepts in financial situations, then studying simple interest is important. Use these activities and games to help your students master calculating simple interest.

I = P x R x T

If students are signing up for their first savings account or getting a car loan, understanding simple interest is an important life skill. When students learn to calculate simple interest, it can help them make wise and informed financial decisions in the future. Let's look at some activities and games to help students learn about simple interest.

Categorize the Variable

Play this small-group game to help students identify the numeric values for the principal, rate, and interest located in word problems.


  • Sets of cards with word problems written on them
  • Chart paper
  • Markers

Teacher Directions

  1. Prior to the game, create sets of cards with word problems involving simple interest written on them. Give each word problem a number.
  2. Provide the class with a real-life scenario involving simple interest, such as interest in a savings account or a consumer loan.
  3. Discuss the formula for simple interest and identify the different variables, such as I (interest), P (principal), R (rate), and T (time).
  4. Divide the class into teams, and provide each team with chart paper, markers, and a set of the word problem cards you made.
  5. Each team should divide their chart paper into columns for the variables P, R, and T. Also, they should create a column for the number of each word problem card.
  6. When you say 'go,' the teams read each word problem and categorize the numbers in the word problems under the correct variable on their chart paper. Students will write the number written on the word problem card and then write the numbers from the word problem that correspond to each variable.
  7. The first team to correctly categorize the variables from their word problems wins.

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