# Currency and Exchange Rates

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1 Grade Five Currency and Exchange Rates Overview Students share the book The Story of Money, by Betsy Maestro, to learn about exchange and barter, the functions of money, currency, and spending money. Students complete a worksheet on currencies, determine the value of the dollar in three different countries using current exchange rates, and shop with cashless money. Lesson Objectives Students will be able to: Explain why people value money Define the term currency Describe how people can purchase items without cash Prerequisite Skills Students should be able to compute with decimal numbers up to the hundredths place. (If students have difficulty with this concept, allow them to use calculators during the small-group activities.) Materials List 1. Book: The Story of Money, by Betsy Maestro (Clarion Books, 1993) 2. Chalkboard or chart paper 3. Listing with the current foreign currency exchange rates (enough for each student to have one copy) 4. Store catalogs 5. Blank checks (enough for each student to have at least five) 6. Handouts: A Closer Look at Currencies worksheet Check Register worksheet Content Standards The activities in this lesson correlate to national standards in economics, social studies, mathematics, and language arts. See the end of this lesson for content standards information. Vocabulary barter cash checking account checks counterfeit credit debit card exchange money personal identification number (PIN) Grade Five: Currency and Exchange Rates 1

6 write checks. If you don t have enough money, the bank will charge you a fee. You should always write down the purchases you make with a debit card in your check register to avoid spending more money than you have. Credit is a type of loan. It is an agreement to borrow money or receive goods or services now in return for a promise to pay later. When you use a credit card to purchase an item, you don t have to pay for the item right away. The bank that issued your credit card is lending you the money to buy the item you have charged to your credit card. Later, you will get a bill from the bank asking you to repay the money. If you don t pay it back, the bank will charge you interest. This means the bank will charge you a certain amount of money for every dollar you have not repaid. Which form of payment do your friends and family use most often? Why do you think your friends and family use one form of payment more often than the others? Have students share their experiences and discuss the advantages of using cash, checks, debit cards, and credit cards. 4. Have students complete the A Closer Look at Currencies worksheet. Hold up a copy of the A Closer Look at Currencies worksheet. This worksheet shows a picture of the U.S. dollar and Japanese yen. How do the designs of their money reflect their cultures? Do you think it would be hard to make counterfeit copies? Do you know what the word counterfeit means? It means a fake version of something in this case, money. If you could design your own money, what would it look like? Draw a picture of it on the back of this worksheet. Then write a paragraph that explains what security features you would include. Allow students to work on this worksheet while you work with individual groups in the following small-group activities. After small-group work, you might want to have students show the class what their money looks like. Small-Group Activity One: Exchange Rates Concepts Taught Exchange Rate Materials Book: The Story of Money Listing with the current foreign currency exchange rates (enough for each student to have one copy) Chalk board or chart paper Optional: Calculators 1. Begin Activity One: Exchange Rates. Give each student a listing with the current foreign currency exchange rates. 6 Personal Finance for Kids

7 Say: When people from the United States travel to a different country, they often look at the exchange rates. By looking at the exchange rates, people can determine how much of that nation s money they can get in exchange for one U.S. dollar. Each of you has a copy of the current exchange rates. How many Mexican pesos can you get for one U.S. dollar? Answers will vary depending on what day it is. To determine how much of a nation s money you can get in exchange for U.S. dollars, multiply the exchange rate by the number of U.S. dollars you have. Show students how to calculate how many Mexican pesos you can get for five U.S. dollars. To make it easier for students, round the numbers to the nearest hundredths place or allow students to use calculators. 2. Have students determine the value of the U.S. dollar in three different countries. If you could go to three different countries, where would you go? Have students name three different countries. As a group, chose three countries from all the countries that the students name. Imagine that we have 500 U.S. dollars to spend in each country. Let s find out how much of each country s money we could get in exchange for 500 U.S. dollars. As a group, calculate how much of each country s money you would get for 500 U.S. dollars. Have students look at the exchange rate listing to determine the exchange rates for the three different countries. Then write the equations on the chalkboard or chart paper. Small-Group Activity Two: Spending Money Concept Taught Spending Money Materials Book: The Story of Money Blank checks (enough for each student to have at least four) Store catalogs Handout: Check Register worksheet. 1. Talk about using checks and debit cards to make purchases. Say: People often use checks and debit cards to make purchases. Why do you think people use checks or debit cards to make purchases? Allow students to share their ideas. Students may say that they use checks or credit cards because it is convenient or because they can easily keep track of how much money they spend. Grade Five: Currency and Exchange Rates 7

10 As a unit of account, money is used to compare the market value of different goods and services. Social Studies In addition to economics, the activities in this lesson also correlate to the following Curriculum Standards for the Social Studies, from the National Council for the Social Studies, found at: VII. Production, Distribution, and Consumption Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of how people organize for the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, so that the learner can: Middle Grades Benchmarks: d. Describe a range of examples of the various institutions that make up economic systems such as households, business firms, banks, government agencies, labor unions, and corporations. Mathematics In addition to economics, the activities in this lesson also correlate to the following Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, found at: standards.nctm.org/document/index.htm. Numbers and Operations Standards Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems 3-5 Grade Benchmarks: Develop fluency in adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing whole numbers. Language Arts This lesson, based on the children s book The Story of Money, by Betsy Maestro, also correlates to the following Standards for the English Language Arts, from the National Council of Teachers of English, found at: 1. Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works. 3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics). 10 Personal Finance for Kids

11 Name A Closer Look at Currencies Directions: Almost every country has its own official currency. Look at the U.S. Dollar and Japanese Yen. How do the designs on these bills reflect the cultures of the United States and Japan? Do you think it would be hard to make counterfeit copies? If you could design your own money, what would it look like? Draw a picture of it on the back. Then write a paragraph that explains what security features you would include. Grade Five: Currency and Exchange Rates 11

12 Check Register \$ Personal Finance for Kids

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