The What-if Activity

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“Ask your students this question:

What would you do if someone gave you a hundred dollars?  

If you’re doing this with teenagers, make the amount a thousand dollars.

Ask them to write down their answers so that you can discuss them.

Here are some questions to guide that conversation:

  • Did you decide to use the money all for yourself or did you use any of the money for someone else?
  • Did you decide to save any of the money?
  • Would you spend it on things you need or things you want?
  • Was the imaginary amount enough or did you find yourself wanting more?”

The above activity was taken from the book “No: Why Kids of All Ages Need to Hear it” by David Walsh, PhD.

In this book, Walsh highlights the “save, spend, share” methodology that Nathan Dungan suggests. They believe that by giving our kids the opportunity to share we are providing them a “potent antidote to the cultural messages that promote a ‘me first’ attitude.”

This book was quite an interesting read and although it was aimed at parents, I think teachers can get a lot out of it too.

As always, if you have a teaching tip you would like to share, don’t hesitate to contact me or leave a comment below. Teachers helping teachers is what this is all about.

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2 responses to “The What-if Activity”

  1. Hi Chase – an interesting aspect .. we were taught to save as kids, and spend some .. but not to take another chunk and share it – think of others and share .. that would most certainly have been helpful in today's age.

    That 3rd part would be the useful bit in today's generation .. I just had two kids round to help me do something .. 13 and 11 .. and they refused to take some payment and said they would not accept even if offered .. they have been brought up properly and are from a very poor household!

    So I do think kids early on should manage their money .. and keep a track of it .. even if it's constantly counted out from the money box .. ?! Cheers – Hilary

  2. Hi Hilary,

    I don't think too many kids are taught to save these days. It certainly is something we should be teaching. Sharing is a great lesson as well.

    I know that I did a lot of chores and favours for neighbours, family, and friends when growing up and never expected to be paid anything for it.

    I did, however get an allowance and tried to manage my money. It's something I am still learning though.

    Hope you have a great weekend!