1. To help students understand and identify what values are

2. To determine if there is a connection between personal values and money

Subject Area

English Language Arts (K-12), Foods and Nutrition (5-8), Clothing and Textiles (5-8)


  • What is a value?
  • What do children value? (i.e. family, love, friendship, health)
  • Does money relate to the things that you value? How?
  • Why would someone save, invest or donate their money and how does this connect to personal values?

What is a value? (Teacher Information)

A value is something that you care about, with personal significance to who you want to be and what you want to achieve in life. Values are intangible, and are not defined by accomplishments or possessions, like a car or a vacation to Hawaii. Examples of values might be freedom, security or happiness. Your values can influence your financial goals. For example, if you value freedom, you may set a goal to quickly pay off your student loans. If you value security, you may decide to make a bi-monthly contribution to a Tax-Free Savings Account.


Money and Values

Length: 1 hour
Materials: Money and Values Handout, a container to hold money (jar, tin, envelope, etc.), magazines and newspapers, a variety of art supplies

  • Students will come up with their own personal values and determine how money relates to these values. They will also decorate value-themed piggybanks.
  • Have students start by reading the Money and Values Handout and brainstorming the meaning of value. Students should write down some of their own values and reasons why those values are important to them. They can then match a goal to the value. For example, they may value freedom and wish to save toward a new bike so that they can travel around the neighbourhood. Or, they may value health and also set the goal of saving up for a bike to use for exercise.
  • Students should then decorate their piggybanks with words, images and symbols that connect their values to their goals.


  • Charities and non-profits are typically value-driven organizations. Research an organization that accepts donations or volunteers (time has a dollar value!) and reflects your values. Identify what a reasonable donation might be and how the charity might use it.

Collaborative Feedback

  • What conclusions did you come to about the relationship between money and values?

Teacher Tips

  • Participate with your own personal piggybank decorated with your values!

Pre- and Post-Assessment of Lesson

  • What do you know about how personal values affect the goals that you set?
  • What did you learn about how personal values affect the goals that you set?