Contact Mary Suiter

Posted: 03/28/2007
Fed resource: Banking Basics
Short description: Teaching Suggestions for the Revised Banking Basics Publication
Lesson time: 90 minutes
Materials: One copy of the publication and a newspaper for each student.
Audience: Middle School, High School
Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Subjects: Money and Banking, Personal Finance
Concepts: Money and Banking - Banks, Money
Personal Finance - Saving
Documents: None
Banking Basics provides an overview of the banking industry, including information about the different types of banks, how to choose a bank, how to apply for a loan, what happens to deposits, how electronic banking functions, and the Federal Reserve System.
Suggested Activities for using Banking Basics in the classroom.

1. Tell students to select a bank in their area and contact that bank to get information about opening accounts at the bank and to collect additional information from the bank or the bank's website about the bank so that they can analyze the bank based on the criteria provided on page 8 of Banking Basics. These criteria are: interest rates--paid on accounts and charged for various loans, location/hours, deposit insurance, corporate citizenship, and service.

2. Tell students to interview representatives from different banks regarding these criteria in order to make comparisons. Note: It is best if the teacher contacts bank representatives in advance to be sure they are willing to be interviewed by students. Consider helping students develop interview questions.

3. Assign each section of Banking Basics to a student or group of students. (The sections are listed in the table of contents and section headings are in the form of questions.) Have the students give a presentation on their section to the rest of the class using a visual aid.

4. Tell students that as they listen to the presentations, they should answer each Banking Basics section question in their notes in 1-3 sentences, using the information from the presentations.

5. Have students write letters to the editor of a newspaper explaining why it is important to have a checking account and the common pitfalls teenagers experience when using their checking accounts.

6. Tell students to review the local newspaper each day for a week and cut out ads for banks and thrifts. Have students categorzie the ads according to whether the featured institution is a commercial bank, savings and loan association, savings bank, or credit union. Have students explain why they put each institution in a particular category and summarize the characteristics that distinguish the featured institution form other types.

7. Students find five ads for different banks and thrifts. For each one, they determine the target audience – the group of people to whom the ad is directed. They should explain their conclusions.

8. Tell students to find five print ads each for a different bank or thrift. For each ad, they should determine the target audience – the group of people to whom the ad is directed and explain why they think this is the case.

9. Instruct students to cut out bank and thrift ads from the newspaper.   For each bank, they should keep a list of services offered and make note of such information as current interest rates and credit terms. Students should use the information to choose a bank with which they would consider doing business and explain their choice to the class.

10. Divide the class into small groups Tell them that a new bank is opening in their area and their group has been hired by the bank's board of directors to develop an ad campaign aimed at young people who will soon be leaving high school or college and entering the work force. The group should name the ad campaign and decide which services the bank will offer to these new customers. Student groups should create an ad that could run in the local newspaper.

Submitted by: Sara Messina
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Jacksonville Branch