Financial literacy must be on the forefront of education and economic policies. Managing finances and making informed decisions about investments and business ventures, as widely recognized important life skills, must be acquired as soon as one recognizes his economic being.
When asked about financial goals, most young working professionals would say ‘financial freedom.’ Well, achieving financial freedom was also my response during an insurance company-sponsored seminar at school. We may have clear concepts of financial freedom, but getting financially literate remains less a priority.
Financial literacy requires a background on financial principles including saving and building emergency funds, engaging in and managing debts, controlling personal finances, taking advantage of compound interests, and making investments as grounded on the increasing value of money and other assets over time.
In the Philippines, curriculum designers and implementers underestimate the value of integrating financial literacy into instructions. Yes, textbooks contain readings and integrated financial concepts, but these opportunities remain snubbed because, in the first place, most teachers undervalue financial literacy.
As a senior high school teacher and financial literacy advocate, I strongly suggest that teachers integrate financial literacy on top of all other soft skills. Particularly in senior high, students must be equipped with skills and trainings needed in college, possible entrepreneurship and employment, and sustainable personal development.
In this article, I’ll try to show you how integrations of financial literacy into classroom instructions can be workable. You can use at will the sample financial literacy-integrated SHS reading lesson plan below. Honestly, it was a project in our class, The Teaching of Reading, but I haven’t tried it in any of my classes.
Successful Integrations of Financial Literacy
With SHS students having a new level of maturity, teaching financial literacy can be easier and more efficient. When I was given SHS teaching loads, I was profoundly challenged and took the big opportunity to refine my teaching strategies and allow an integration of financial literacy. During my first term with SHS Reading and Writing, I tried to:
- Demonstrate non-prose reading using a sample stock investment portfolio
- Analyze structures of sample sentences about business and investments
- Summarize well-written articles on saving and spending habits
- Suggest a personal finance section for a magazine project (performance task for ABM students)
- Design finance-themed grammar quizzes
- Simulate corporate events and solve issues through critical thinking
- Initiate a radio-broadcast of latest news in the business world (after watching a video and notetaking)
- Allow students to hold a magazine-launching event and manage resources efficiently
- and many motivational activities integrating financial literacy
Sample Financial Literacy-Integrated SHS Reading Lesson Plan
As mentioned above, I designed this lesson plan in partial fulfillment of the requirements in my MA class. After series of exhausting discussions on teaching reading principles and strategies, we were then asked to submit a sample executable lesson plan that incorporates at least three strategies (check the highlighted texts). As much as I wanted to engage my target learners in meaningful learning, I decided to integrate financial literacy.
I. Lesson Title
Identifying Properties of a Well-written Text (This section clearly identifies the reading skill to be taught.)
II. Target Learners
Grade 11 ABM (Accounting, Business, and Management Students)/ Reading and Writing Class (Given the SHS level, and in consideration of the existing spiral curriculum, the learners are expected to have a foundation in expository text structures (both in reading and writing).)
- Review/Prior Discussion: 30 mins
- Pre-reading Activity: 5 mins
- Reading Activity: 30 mins
- Post-reading Activity/Application: 35 mins
- Evaluation: 15 mins
- ILS/LMS: 5 mins
- Total Allocated Time: 120 mins (This gives an overview of the time allotted for specific phases in classroom instruction.)
IV. Learning Outcomes
Upon completing the lesson, the learners should be able to:
- identify the properties of a well-written text;
- read a text, and evaluate its quality based on a given evaluation checklist or criteria;
- brainstorm, and give justifications on the text evaluation; and
- demonstrate respect and active engagement in collaborative small group tasks (This section enumerates the learning outcomes or lesson objectives anchored on the three domains; i.e., cognitive, affective, and psychomotor, as expected to be realized at the end of the instruction.)
- Computer unit
- LCD Projector
- Handouts for lecture
- Reading materials
- Text evaluation checklists/criteria
- Test papers (This section details out the educational technology and materials required in the teacher’s execution of the lesson, reading activity, and others.)
Prepare the slide presentation. Have the handouts, reading materials, text evaluation checklist/criteria, and test paper (for evaluation) photocopied based on the number of students or desired groups.
VII. Review/Prior Discussion
Opening Question: How important is it for a reader and a writer to be able to discern the difference between good writing and bad writing?
Discuss the following properties of a well-written text. Give examples as well, to illustrate how these contribute to the quality of a text.(see Handout/Appendix A for details)
- clarity and focus
- ideas and themes
- language (word choice)
- grammar and style (conventions)
- credibility or believability
- thought-provoking or emotionally inspiring appeal
Transition: Writing is an art form, and therefore subject to personal taste. To write well, a writer must be able to recognize quality in a piece of writing. Now, before we proceed to an activity, let us take a look first at this photo of Divisoria, a commercial center in Manila.
(The sections that follow clearly reflect the three reading phases: pre, during, and post-reading. Embedded as well are the three teaching of reading strategies employed (You Ought to be in the Picture, Purposeful Annotation, and Brainstorming and Guided Peer Evaluation).
VIII. Pre-reading Activity
You Ought to be in the Picture. Display a latest photo of Divisoria on the presentation slide (Appendix B). The photo must contain a swarm of shoppers, busy business establishments, etc. Elicit responses to the following questions:
- If you were on this photo, where would you be? Who would you be? Would you be this (pointing to a particular person on the photo) shopper? Would you be the owner of this establishment?
- Why would you prefer to be the businessman/woman?
- Do you have an idea how to establish a business in the country?
Transition: We will find that out as we read an article entitled “How to Start a Business in the Philippines.” Aside from that, we will also evaluate the properties of this article, and will try to arrive at a conclusion whether this one is well-written or not (Financial literacy is integrated here, and a little discussion about the topic can be entertained).
IX. Reading Activity
Instruct the students to huddle up in small groups. Distribute handouts/copies of the reading text (see Handout/Appendix C). Assign small groups their paragraphs or portions of the text for a sustained reading aloud. If feasible, give them few minutes to pre-read or skim the text silently.
(Incorporated in this reading activity, the sustained oral reading, are specific reading components like fluency and comprehension.)
Purposeful Annotation. Tell the learners that, while listening to groups during the sustained reading aloud, they must follow silently, and focus on their individual copies. Also, they must write evaluative annotations on the margins, noting the elements of the text that may help describe its quality, or those evidences of deviations from the identified properties of a well-written text. If necessary, the teacher may demonstrate how annotations are made.
Transition: So, what have you just discovered about establishing business in the country? (additional questions may be asked) Is the text well-written? Others say yes; others, no. Now, let us formally evaluate the text using this evaluation checklist/criteria.
(Moreover, the sections call for different kinds of interactions. The pre-reading phase makes provisions for student-teacher and text (by a picture/visual) -reader interactions. The actual reading activity, on the other hand, asks for student-self, student-student, and text-reader exchanges of ideas. Likewise, the post reading activity and the presentations, as well as the deliberations provide almost all of these interactions. Another thing, financial literacy is incorporated here)
X. Post-reading Activity/Application
Brainstorming and Guided Peer Evaluation. Distribute the copies of the text evaluation checklist/criteria (Handout/Appendix D) for a peer evaluation. Emphasize that all members must share their ideas and observations (or annotations) to arrive at sound decisions, conclusions, and justifications on the quality of the text.
Task them as well to choose representatives to present the findings of their peer evaluation during the centralized criterion-after-criterion deliberation, which will be facilitated by the teacher. Note that scoring will be of twofold: the oral presentation, and the written evaluation output. Scoring rubrics will also be explained. Refer to the scoring rubrics (Appendix E).
During the centralized criterion-after-criterion deliberation, the teacher must hear evaluations and insights from the group representatives and then, synthesize them to come up with an agreement. Follow-up questions, clarifications, and compliments may be given upon processing the outputs.
Transition: To give us the summary of the evaluation and the final verdict made by each group, we would like to request our group leaders.
(The application/ post-reading activity requires the learners to apply their knowledge on identifying properties of a well-written text, as well as the skill in evaluating its quality based on the existing checklist/criteria.)
Individualized Paper-and-Pencil Test. Inform the learners that they will take a short quiz. Give them as well few minutes to prepare. Afterwards, distribute the prepared copies of the test. (See attached Appendix F).
(The paper-and-pencil test is designed as a supplementary ‘learning checker’. Expected, this ensures a balance among the three domains, the means, and most importantly, the styles of the learners as this requires an individualized account of learning. Another test, a follow up, may provide another financial literacy integration)
XII. ILS/LMS (Homework)
Instruct the learners to check their electronic Learning Management System for the uploaded homework to be completed within the week. Attend as well to some concerns of the learners about the previously given activities (Homeworks can also be a good opportunity to integrate financial literacy).
Anlacan, R. J. (2012). How to start a business in the Philippines. Business Coach. Retrived from http://www.businesscoachphil.com/how-to-start-a-business-in-the-philippines.
Donovan, M. (2013). Eight characteristics of good writing. Writing forward. Retrieved from https://www.writingforward.com/ better-writing/characteristics-of-good-writing.
Lacson, L. T. (2015). Untitled. Retrieved from https://mrphilippines1974.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/img_2489-0.jpg
Langan, J. (2010). College writing skills with readings. (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies.
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