Students play “The Wealth Game” (based on “Market Exchange and Wealth Distribution: A Classroom Simulation” by Robert B. Williams, Journal of Economic Education, Fall 1993). Students are given an initial set of colored beads with defined values that determine their wealth in one of three categories: poor, middle-class, or rich. Their task is to increase the value of their wealth by trading their beads with other students. Individual student outcomes of the game are discussed in terms of the four primary determinants of wealth: natural abilities, effort, motivation, and luck.
The Making Personal Finance Decisions curriculum teaches valuable personal finance lessons grounded in economic theory. The curriculum is divided into 10 themed units, with each unit containing two lessons. The twenty individual lessons employ a variety of teaching strategies designed to engage students in the learning process and equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed personal finance decisions. The Wealth Game—Factors for Success is lesson 1A of Unit One: Thinking Economically.