The Stock Market Game
When I announced to my 5th graders that we’d be playing the stock market game and buying stocks, my students replied, “What are stocks?” A week later, they were exclaiming, “Let’s buy 100 shares of Panera!”
If you haven’t seen www.stockmarketgame.org, check it out. This site has everything you need to teach your students about financial literacy and the stock market. It feels so real. Only the $100,000 is fake.
When a colleague showed me this site, my first thought was that I don’t know enough about the stock market to teach it to my students. But after I looked around the site, I realized I didn’t need to be an expert. I just needed to be fearless and jump in. So I did.
The stock market game site has everything you need to engage kids in learning about the stock market. It has a very well-designed teacher support center with lessons for grades 4-12. Included are possible projects as well as rubrics. And that’s just the background information. What the kids see is an interactive website where they can track stocks as well as buy and sell.
In my classroom, I set up the kids in groups of 2 or 3 because I wanted them to have enough hands on experience with this project. We began with lessons to help them identify a brand and a company. From there they learned the difference between private and public companies. Their homework was to think about what stocks they might want their team to buy. The next day they burst through the classroom door with ideas – most had even looked up companies with their parents – and were ready to start buying. A representative from Econ-IL, our sponsoring agency in Illinois, visited our class to show the kids around the site and to answer their questions.
We are beginning week 2 and the level of excitement is amazing. Kids are learning about money and the stock market as we go. The site provides the information I need to stay ahead of my students as I teach them new concepts to further their understanding. I plan to use class time for them to collaborate on their trades.
This game is the perfect project for my 5th graders. It provides practice with real life math skills, data analysis, and teamwork. But most of all, it’s engaging kids in their learning – it’s a Win Win!