The book: A Chair For My Mother
7-8 milk cartons
A chart with 3 columns: one for money they have earned, one for savings, and one for spending

In this activity you will need to read the story A Chair For My Mother . After you read students the story you will introduce the activity.

-First you will need to make groups of four. Each group will be assigned a job around the school. During the class period, small groups will go out and clean up litter, take out garbage, or any job that they are allowed to do around the school. Give the students monetary compensation (play money) for every class period (or predetermined amount of time you will give them to work).

-Have the students make a chart with three columns. One column will be for recording the money they have earned, one column will be for recording all their savings, and the other column will be for recording the money they are spending.

-The teacher will provide different items that the students can purchase with their fake money. Some examples items could be paper, pens, folders, or anything you may have that your students may need. You will use the milk cartons to keep the student’s savings like banks. Each student will be given a chance to either save their money, save it up to buy a larger item or spend it as soon as they earn it.

Pen- $1
Paper-.25 cents
Pencil- .50 cents
Eraser- $1

At the end of this project, which should take at least one week to do, your students will understand labor, spending, and saving. Have students reflect on the activity. Hold a group discussion to make sure students understand how the activity connects to the book.

Ask questions like “Who chose to save their money? Why did you decide to save it? Since you didn’t spend your money, what couldn’t you buy?” “Who decided to spend their money? What did you spend it on? Why did you decide to spend it instead of saving?