Lesson 7: Checking, Savings, and Credit Accounts
Primary, Roll Out Your Classroom Economy, Lesson 7
Full Lesson Plan

Access this lesson plans and all supporting materials. Duplicate the doc to edit (file > make a copy)

Full Google Doc Lesson Plan
Printout with Examples of Checking, Savings, and Credit Accounts

Lesson 7: Checking, Savings, and Credit Accounts

Learning Objective:

Students will be able to define savings, checking, and credit accounts by analyzing pictures to help determine meaning.

Jump$tart Standard: Saving:
4-4a. Describe the advantages of saving money in an account at a financial institution rather than keeping the money at home.
8-2d. Discuss how savings decisions can affect financial wellbeing.

SEL Competency: Social Awareness


  • Determine how in depth you want to go with your students. It is recommended that for K–2, you start with a savings account in their banking profile, and then halfway through the year, add checking. Grades 3–5 should ideally have a savings and checking to begin with (at minimum)—and when you and the students are ready, introduce credit, checks, and wire transfers.
  • To change student banking profiles, navigate to Economy > Bank > Assign Banking Profiles.
  • Get students into groups of 3–6, and make sure you have printed out or distributed one copy of the pictures and definitions to each group.

Mini-activity—Connect the Picture to the Definition & Explain (10 min)

*If your students need help reading the definitions, complete this activity as a whole group.

Say: In your groups, when I say “go,” look at the pictures and read the definitions. 

(*If you’re completing the activity together as a group, read aloud the definitions.)


Say: Let’s read the definitions together first.

  • If you have a savings account, you deposit (put money into) a bank account to earn interest on that money over time. This kind of account is normally used to save and is not used on a daily basis to pay bills and other expenses (costs). 
  • If you have a checking account, you can deposit (put money in) to that account and withdraw (take money out). You can use the money in a checking account to pay bills and other expenses (costs). 
  • If you have a credit account, you borrow money from a bank and then you pay that money back—with interest. That means you give more money back to the bank for the privilege of borrowing their money.
  • A wire transfer is the process by which a person sends money from their account directly to another person’s account. There is normally a bank fee (extra cost) included with wire transfers. 
  • A check is a piece of paper with a person’s bank account information on it. A person can take a check to the bank or send a picture of the check to the bank to deposit. This normally takes more than one day to process and needs to be approved by a banker. After the money is deposited, the person can usually withdraw, or take out, that money in cash. 

Say: Match each picture with its definition. There may be more than one picture for each definition. Work in teams, and make sure you can explain why you chose to pair the pictures with the definitions.

Display this sentence stem: 

I think this picture goes with _________because ___________. 

Say: You have five minutes to work. Any questions? Make sure you talk through your ideas with your group. This is not a race! Accuracy and a good discussion are more important than being the first to finish. 

Optional: Whoever matches the pictures and definitions correctly the first time—and can explain their reasoning—may get a bonus in their account!

Circulate and assist where needed. When a group thinks they are done, go and check their answers. If they get them all right, select one person to explain their thinking about one of the images. If they make an error, show them which response is incorrect and have them discuss alternate options.

Debrief and Review (5 min)

Once all small groups are done, bring everyone back together. Read aloud the definitions if you haven’t already. Ask students if they have any questions.

Optional (modify as appropriate):

Say: We will have checking, savings, and credit accounts with Stash101, and we will also be making wire transfers and writing checks to practice what you’ll eventually do in real life!

To wrap up, have each group share one picture with the whole class, along with their thoughts on which definition matches that picture. Use the sentence stem to help guide them.

Sentence stem: 

I think this picture goes with ____________because ___________.