How to teach Financial Literacy in Minecraft
The financial literacy lessons in Minecraft: Education Edition are a great way to teach 21st century skills in the classroom. Financial literacy focuses on the knowledge individuals have of financial matters. These lessons educate students on financial vocabulary and allow them to put their knowledge into practice within the virtual world. The financial literacy world was designed by the team at i2e in partnership with Cleverlike Studios with middle school age in mind.
Financial skills are important for middle school students as they begin to find jobs and manage money. Students who have not been given simulation experiences to save, spend, and give may struggle with financial problems in the future. These Minecraft: Education Edition lessons create an engaging experience to practice managing finances without the risk of real monetary assets.
EVERFI’s financial education resources states: “Financial education is more than being able to add dollars and cents. It’s about building better spending habits, instilling confidence, and equipping everyone with the skills to pursue big financial goals with minimal risk… Various studies have showed that students without financial education are more likely to have financial problems, like low credit scores and significant debt, in the future. That’s why incorporating financial education resources in schools is more important than ever before.”
Within the game, students are met with decisions and challenges like real-world scenarios. Players are prompted to pick a bike as a savings goal. While in the job arena, the players learn the value of hard work by completing a task that earns money.
Next, they visit the bank and learn the difference between checking and savings accounts. They also are taught the difference between immediate, short-term, and long-term investments. Students are challenged by peer pressure in the game as they go shopping with friends, and in the end, they choose which bike to buy based on their available savings.
Through the lesson plans, educators connect gameplay with real life-scenarios. The lesson plans give discussion suggestions about important financial lessons such as connecting personal values and spending habits or understanding the difference between wants, needs, and donations. The lessons plans include thought-provoking questions for students, leading to meaningful discussions in the classroom. Additionally, links to outside resources and activities are supplied for further learning. Educators can choose from the handouts provided, such as vision boards and choice boards, as well.
This blog was guest written by Alex Bosfield, a Minecraft Certified Educator from Atlanta, USA. Here’s more about Alex’s own journey:
Alex is passionate about this project, because of her experience learning financial literacy! In her own education, Alex acknowledges that she was uninformed of the importance of savings and investment. While she was able to establish healthy financial habits on her own, students should be taught the skills necessary for financial success. This has empowered her to educate students on important financial materials. “When I had the chance to write these lessons for middle school students, I was so excited! For me, it was a chance to help kids learn, in a gaming environment, what I never did and wish I had.”
In working on this project, Alex wanted students to focus on the “why” in saving and spending. To do this, students evaluate external factors that influence their financial motives in the world. The financial literacy lessons are fun and interactive in hopes that players will build a passion for finances by completing these lessons, while also gaining future-ready skills.
“One of the things I most enjoyed about writing these lessons was working with the Minecraft world builder on the „story“ that students would experience… Working with the world builder allowed me to ensure that each part of the unit incorporated things that students love about Minecraft into the individual lessons, helping them to understand the importance of being financially literate.”
The financial literacy world and lessons are a creative way to gamify financial learning in your classroom. Go check them out: aka.ms/MEEFinLit.