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Primary Economics

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    NCTM Illuminations

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Primary Economics

In this math lesson, learners play the role of a consumer as they learn how to use different combinations of coins to make money amounts up to 25 cents. Learners earn money and save it in their piggy banks until they have the exact amount to purchase an item of their choice. This lesson guide includes questions for learners, assessment options, extensions, and reflection questions.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 8

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)


  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
    • Number and Operations
    • Problem Solving

Informal Categories

  • Financial Literacy


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics:

Includes assesments for student learning

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Piecora, Jamie


  • All Rights Reserved, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, ©2010

Funding Source:

  • Thinkfinity/Verizon Foundation


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