Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Debt Lesson Plan.

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Debt, and supports the standard of understanding concepts of credit and debt. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Ask students: Why might someone apply for a loan from a bank? 

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read aloud the description on the Debt topic page
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “In Depth” or “Dollars & Cents”. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: ENGAGE
Students express what they learned about debt while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs. 

    • Make-a-Movie: Create a PSA that answers this question: Why should people be careful when considering a credit card offer? (Essential Literacy Skill: Determine central ideas)
    • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying and explaining the risks and benefits of opening a line of credit. (Essential Literacy Skill: Summarize key details)
    • Creative Coding: Code a learning game sorting debt-related vocabulary terms into self-selected categories. (Essential Literacy Skill: Acquire and use domain specific words and phrases)
    • Primary Source: Listen to a 2014 speech by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and cite details to answer accompanying questions. (Essential Literacy Skill: Evaluate content presented in diverse media)

Step 4: APPLY & ASSESS 

Apply: Students take the Debt Challenge, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Debt Quiz

Step 5: EXTEND LEARNING

Cat Insanity: Challenge players to apply knowledge of credit and debt while feeding hungry cats in this interactive game. 

Shady Sam: Players take on the role of loan sharks, using strategies to maximize their profits at the expense of their borrowers in this game. 

Economics Unit: Continue to build understanding around economic institutions with more BrainPOP topics.

Additional Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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