In Partnership with Credit Union National Association
Go to main content
SOC - FacebookSOC - TwitterSOC - LinkedINSOC - YouTube
Michigan Credit Union League

What Do You Know About Money

Presentation provided by: Pam Swope, FinancialEdge Community CU,, (989) 892-6088 x225
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of the United States

Age or Grade: Elementary through High School

  • Interchangeable activities and elements can be added to address desired age group

Subject Matter: History of money

  • Bartering/trade; cultural currency; common currency

  • History of U.S. currency

  • How currency is made

  • Cross-cultural history of the ‘$’ sign

Length of Presentation: 20 minutes - 1 hour

  • Can be expanded based on age group

Materials & Presentation Aids Required:

  • 12 Slide PowerPoint (colored slides)  Also available in PDF

    • (Note: Can be copied on to transparencies for overhead presentation or onto paper for handouts. Pages included)

  • Magnifying glasses—one for each student;  15x power map recommended;  May be purchased from Oriental Trading Company at Item number IN-59/1011

  • New U.S. currency (redesigned currency features updated security features); one for each student

  • 11-question quiz for verbal interaction (included in presentation)


Presentation Detail: As you present the slides, incorporate some or all of the following recommended activities to correspond with the information presented

  • Pass out a magnifying glass and one piece of new U.S. currency. Identify the security features of the redesigned piece of money.

  • Have students close their eyes (or blindfold them). Place various pieces of paper, cut the same size as our dollar bills, and the real U.S. currency in the center of the table. Have them identify the money by the ‘paper’ quality and texture. Discuss the similarities and differences between common paper and the ‘paper’ our currency is printed on.

  • Pass out one piece of U.S. currency to each student. Identify the various components of our currency.

  • Pass around the shredded money. Discuss the average life expectancy of our currency and what happens to our currency after it has reached the end of its useful-life.

  • At the end of the presentation, ask the students to answer the 11-question quiz, based on information they learned during the presentation. If desired, award a small credit union or money related prize for each correct answer.

Other Ideas:

  • Give each student a “Guess the Currency” activity sheet. Lead them in the activity. (Take the opportunity to research and prepare some information on currency from other countries or cultures. Use this exercise to compare the similarities and differences to U.S. currency.)

  • Visit for additional on-line interactive activities that pertain to our redesigned currency.

  • Download and print a small poster on the new $20 U.S. currency from to give to each student.

  • Give each student a bibliography of resources for additional information.

Grade Level Michigan Educational Standards & Benchmarks Supported:

  • Mathematics (Michigan GLCE v.6-04)

    • Grade 1 - Work with money

      • M.UN.01.04 Identify the different denominations of coins and bills

  • Social Studies (Michigan Contents Standards & Draft Benchmarks, 1995)

    • Strand I. Historical Perspective

    • Strand I.1 Time & Chronology

    • Strand I.2 Comprehending the Past

    • Strand II. Geographical Perspective

    • Standard II.1 Diversity of People, Places & Cultures

    • Strand III Civic Perspective

    • Standard III.1 Purposes of Government

    • Strand IV Economic Perspective

    • Standard IV.4 Economic Systems


Go to main navigation
Especially For: