5th Grade Financial Literacy: Taxes--Math, Social Studies, Reading (TEKS, STAAR)

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405 Ratings
The Pensive Sloth
Grade Levels
4th - 5th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
14 (plus teacher's guide and key)
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The Pensive Sloth

What educators are saying

Such a great resource that explains the basics of taxes. It helped my daughter understand the overwhelming topic better and it refreshed my memory on some basics I hadn’t thought about in a while!
I used this resource for our 3rd grade economics unit. I didn't use all of the materials as they were created for an older grade, but it was still a very useful addition!



5th grade Texas financial literacy mini-unit to teach students about taxes and help them prepare for the STAAR test. Integrated lesson addresses math, social studies, and reading.

This product also available in Spanish! Click HERE to get the bilingual version that includes both the English and Spanish translation.

Welcome to hands-on financial literacy! In this mini-unit, intermediate students will learn all about taxes. The activities provided address math, reading, and social studies standards for 5th graders. Product download includes--

---"Talkin' Taxes" reading passage with open ended questions to provide background on how taxes work in the United States

---"Fun Tax Facts" reading passage with STAAR formatted multiple choice questions to teach students about taxes in the past and present

--Vocabulary snip-its activity where students cut, paste, and symbolize new terms then use the QR code to check their work (non-QR code page also included)

--"Be an Accountant" activity where students analyze the financial profile of 2 fictional characters and solve problems to figure out their taxes. Money amounts and percentages for taxes are rounded, friendly numbers, but students will need to know how to solve to find the percent of a number. If using this in a reading or social studies class, calculators are an option!

--Card sort game where students read various scenarios and place them in tax categories then write their own scenarios for each category

--Short unit assessment

--Teacher guide with suggested lesson sequence and answer keys

*Consider using the two included reading passages in a close reading lesson

*"Fun Tax Facts" passage can be used in small groups for STAAR reading practice because multiple-choice questions are formatted to help prepare students for the STAAR or other standardized assessment

*Consider teaching this product as a fully integrated lesson using the suggested lesson sequence below

DAY 1—Read “Talkin’ Taxes” as a class or in partners to introduce unit. Then have students work together to complete the Think Deep! sheet that uses Kaplan’s Depth and Complexity icons to help students connect with the text. This includes finding the big idea, recording personal unanswered questions, and examining the idea of taxes from different points of view. There is also a quick application of the four types of taxes. After students have finished, come together as a class and share what they discussed with their partners. Consider making an anchor chart to reflect on what was learned. You will want to let students keep the “Talkin’ Taxes” passage to use in stations over the next few days.

DAY 2 and DAY 3—Students work in stations to review and dig deeper. The following activities can be used as stations—

--VOCABULARY SNIP-ITS—Students match vocabulary terms to definitions and symbolize each word. Includes a QR code version and page without a QR code. (vocabulary)

--BE AN ACCOUNTANT--Activity where students read a financial profile for two fictional characters and use percentages to calculate their income, property, and sales taxes. Includes a challenge question to reach gifted students! (math)

--FUN TAX FACTS—Students read an informational article with engaging content on unusual taxes, taxes in ancient times, Uncle Sam, and past and present taxes in America PLUS a quick multiple-choice comprehension assessment. (reading/social studies)

--CARD SORT—Students infer what tax category is being described in each scenario. Then, they write their own scenarios for each tax category. (reading--making inferences)

DAY 4—Review types of taxes and make sure all students have a copy of the passage from the first day, “Talkin’ Taxes.” Give students time to take the assessment independently.

*Download the preview to see entire product, however there are 4 pages tiled on each page. Product download is a PDF that contains 16 pages.

By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 4-5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

*New Math TEKS
5.10A--define income tax, payroll tax, sales tax, and property tax
5.3E--solve for products of decimals to the hundredths, including situations involving money, using strategies based on place-value understandings, properties of operations, and the relationship to the multiplication of whole numbers

*Social Studies
5.2A--identify and analyze the causes and effects of events prior to and during the American Revolution, including the French and Indian War and the Boston Tea Party;

5.11--Reading/Comprehension of Informational Text/Expository Text. Students analyze, make inferences and draw conclusions about expository text and provide evidence from text to support their understanding.

As a Texas teacher, the products I make are designed around the standards for the state of Texas, known as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and are carefully crafted to help students be successful on the Texas STAAR test. I use the challenge of the TEKS and released STAAR assessments as models to guide me when putting together lessons and materials for my students. Thus, I am careful to post products that, in my judgment, align with these standards. I am not affiliated in any way with these entities and any and all claims of alignment are my claims, not those of the groups behind the TEKS or STAAR test. Please contact me if you have questions.
Total Pages
14 (plus teacher's guide and key)
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
4 days
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