JA Economics for Success

JA Economics for Success provides practical information about personal finance and the importance of identifying education and career goals based on a student’s skills, interests, and values. It also demonstrates the economic benefits of staying in school. Six required, volunteer-led activities.

The key learning objectives listed beside each activity state the skills and knowledge students will gain.

Activity One: Mirror, Mirror

Students make choices to understand the concept of self-knowledge-their skills, interests, and values-and the structure of the world of work as they consider education, career, and other life choices.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Explain self-knowledge, including personal skills, interest, and values.
  • Identify careers of interest and how they are classified within the world of work.
Activity Two: Choose Your Success

Students play the Choose Your Success game, in which the connection between personal finance, education, and career options is demonstrated.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Identify the link between personal finance, education, and career options.
  • Apply decision-making to education and career decisions.
Activity Three: Keeping Your Balance

Students receive Occupation Cards and observe how different jobs provide different monthly salaries. Based on these monthly salaries, students evaluate the opportunity cost of their decisions to form a budget. They then compare their spending decisions to suggested amounts on the cards.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Recognize that a balanced budget is important for workers of all income levels.
  • Differentiate between gross and net income.
  • Name ways to balance a budget.
Activity Four: Savvy Shopper

Students examine how consumers pay for goods and services. They discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using cash and credit, and play a game that reinforces their understanding of the cost of credit.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Identify the opportunity costs associated with using cash and credit.
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of using credit.
  • Identify appropriate situations to use cash and credit.
Activity Five: Keeping Score

Students examine how a credit score is determined, and learn about the positive and negative consequences of a credit report.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Describe the favorable or unfavorable outcomes of a personal credit score.
  • Explain actions that cause a credit score to go up or down.
Activity Six: What’s the Risk

Students demonstrate that life involves risk and that insurance helps to reduce the financial consequences of loss or injury.

Key Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Identify financial risks.
  • Explain how insurance provides a method to minimize risk.
  • Identify the opportunity cost of having insurance.
JA Economics for Success enhances students’ learning of the following concepts and skills:

Concepts–Budget, Credit, Credit score, Debt, Decision-making, Deductible, Gross income, Higher education, Insurance, Interest, Interests, Needs and wants, Net income, Opportunity cost, Policy, Premium, Risk, Self-knowledge, Skills, Values, World of work

Skills–Analyzing information, Critical thinking, Decision-making, Following directions, Interpreting data, Math calculations, Oral and written communication, Problem-solving, Reading for understanding, Role-playing, Self-assessment, Working in pairs and groups

JA Economics for Success was purposefully and strategically developed to align with academic content area. This program’s focus on reading, writing, and mathematics standards ensures relevance in all classrooms affected by high-stakes testing.

JA Economics for Success is a series of six activities recommended for students in grades six, seven, and eight. The average time for each activity is 45 minutes. Extended Learning Opportunities were developed to enhance and extend core activities. JA Economics for Successprovides interactive, take-home materials for students, including a CD-ROM supplement and a newsletter with directions to complete an online career assessment. Materials are packaged in a self-contained kit that includes detailed activity plans for the volunteer and materials for 32 students.

All JA programs are designed to support the skills and competencies identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. These programs also augment school-based, work-based, and connecting activities for communities with school-to-work initiatives.