At Your Financial Institution


1. To promote an understanding of basic financial institution offerings

2. To encourage analysis of the most effective use of various types of accounts

Subject Area

English Language Arts (K-12), Math (4, 6-8)


Introduce money management as it pertains to financial institutions with the following discussion points:

  • What are financial institutions used for?
  • Does anyone have a savings account? How about a chequing account?
  • What do students think the difference is between a savings account, a chequing account and a credit card?
  • Why is it important to understand the difference between these accounts?
  • What are some initial ideas regarding the pros/cons to each account?
  • Mention debit cards and pros/cons.
  • What other services do financial institutions offer?


Held Accountable

Part 1
Length: 1.5 hours + preparation time for presentation
Materials: Held Accountable Handout (Part 1), printouts from financial institutions on types of accounts, computer for research (optional)

  • In this part of the activity, students will be broken up into three groups (chequing account group, savings account group and credit card group) and will be responsible to research their assigned account.
  • As a group, students need to fill out the Held Accountable Handout (Part 1). They will be required to research how the account works, what some of the account features are, what the monthly costs associated with the account are (service fees), what the interest is (specifically for savings account and credit card) and the pros and cons to having that type of account.
  • Once students have finished their research, they will be required to present their findings to the class. During the presentations, the students will need to fill out the rest of their handouts.

Part 2
Length: 1 hour
Materials: Held Accountable Handout (Part 2)

  • In this part of the activity, students will need to fill out the Held Accountable Handout (Part 2) and go through each of the transactions that are listed, and determine the most appropriate account to use for each. In some situations, the transaction will affect two accounts.
  • After students have filled out their charts, go through the list of transactions as a class. Once complete, have the students calculate the statement balance at the end of the month.


  • Have students put together lists of account features that are important to them (e.g. free ATM withdrawals on a chequing account) and encourage them to investigate different financial institutions that offer those features.

Collaborative Feedback

  • What surprises did each group encounter when researching the different accounts?
  • Did students find any differences between what the different financial institutions offered?

Teacher Tips

  • Arrange a trip to a financial institution or have a representative come and speak to the class.

Pre- and Post-Assessment of Lesson

  • How does choosing an appropriate bank account make a difference in your ability to save/spend?
  • How did choosing an appropriate bank account make a difference in your ability to save/spend?