Students work together in small groups to make decisions about how to save or spend their money in Colonial America. They have to choose which job to do (weaver, farmer, wheelwright, carpenter, or apothecary.) They receive a monthly paycheck and must subtract their bills from their total amount of money. Some of the items they have to pay for include a mortgage, food, clothing, transportation, hunting gear, toys, Christmas presents, quilts, art, and wigs. Students will encounter obstacles to overcome just like in the real world such as family members getting sick, emergencies, and unexpected bills and bonuses.
This game uses many skills that align with the Common Core :
MATH- money management, deciding between needs and wants; addition and subtraction
SOCIAL STUDIES- learning about Colonial America, studying authentic artifacts from the time period
CITIZENSHIP- working cooperatively as a group, life skills such as sacrifice for family
This game is designed for 4th grade students but could be played with 3rd-8th graders. My fourth graders LOVED playing it and learned so much. Here are some of the things they said during the game about the saving and spending choices they made:
"We are farmers so we only need a simple house and we can grow our own food so we'll save money that way."
"We don't need a family portrait made. We could be resourceful and make our own paint by mashing up berries or painting with mud."
"I don't need a wig to be stylish. I don't have to have what all my other friends have to be cool. It's okay to just save money and be myself."
"We won't be able to spend that much on our kids Christmas presents this year because we have to make sure we have enough money to last until next month."
*I have designed my own Colonial Currency for use in this game, which is included in the download.
*Also check out: "The Great Depression: A Saving and Spending Game"