Suggested cross-curricular extension activities

Here we have suggested a variety of extension ideas linked into different curriculum subjects. The children can do them individually, in pairs, in groups or as a whole class activity.

Cross-curricular extension activities


  • Research what organic means. What is the difference between organic and processed food? Discuss issues. Buy a set of food items that are organic and compare against those that are not. Compare the difference in prices.
  • Research how a watermark is made in banknotes.
  • Make a file about how coins are made. What were early coins made of? What metals are used today?


  • Using web research, which painting has sold for the most at auction? Create their own folder by cutting and pasting information about it.
  • Using web research, how much would a family have to survive on in a village in Africa, compared to a family in the UK?
  • PSHE/PSE/Health & Wellbeing/PD&MU & Citizenship
  • Research developing countries where poverty is rife. What are the causes: poor harvesting, no jobs, no Government support? Take one to use as a case study.
  • Look at charitable giving. Discuss why it is so important to help those less fortunate than ourselves.


  • Have the class collect 'financial' headlines for a week - cut out and montage as a wall display and have a group class discussion on each of them.
  • Write a financial diary (real or imaginary) explaining the sorts of daily finances of a family, what money they pay out and receive in.
  • Have pupils research as many different words for 'money' as possible, then using daily newspapers highlight each of these words as they appear in the articles.


  • Research three different countries in the world and look at their currency. Make a file of economics of that country.
  • Look at the exchange rate of currency. Discuss the dollar versus the pound. Talk about how this varies over time.
  • Make a list of all those countries that now use the Euro and then trace back to their original currency. Draw/photocopy and describe.


  • Look into the history of the postal system. Look at stamps, through the years. Discuss how the price has changed over time. Find out all the different postal charges and how they compare to 50/100 years ago. Have they increased/decreased? Discuss.
  • Make a 'Money Timeline'. Research when different types of items were used as currency through the ages such as stones, feathers or food to metal coins, first paper money. Japanese, Roman etc. and their monetary values.
  • Research when credit cards were developed.


  • Carry out a class survey on what they have for breakfast. Research what each of the items costs and work out the total cost of breakfast for the class. Then the average. (You could discuss health issues too).
  • In pairs, they should research and find what they could buy for £100, £1,000. Then discuss the difference between getting many small value items for each against fewer high value items.


  • Design their own banknote. Make sure its an intricate design that can't easily be copied but ensure it has depictions or icons that represent them and their family.
  • Take rubbings of as many different coins as possible (front and back, or heads and tails). Make a display/create designs from them.
  • Sweden issued Europe's first paper money but also the biggest coins ever made - huge copper plate money; design, make/model your own range of children's money.

General financial activities

  • Make imaginary receipts for:
    • a restaurant meal
    • a shop bill for fruit and vegetables
    • a D.I.Y. store for nails, hammer and wood
  • Make a receipt corner:
    • have children collect receipts from home with their parent's permission so they can compare prices of items
  • Make an imaginary shopping list for:
    • a ballerina
    • a footballer
    • a mum with a new baby
    • parents with teenage twins
  • Class survey on a weekend treat and the types of costs they may encounter.
  • Go online to find the costs for a weekly food shop for a family of four, mum, dad, baby and an eight year old.
  • Compare petrol prices and public transport prices - discuss differences between 'car' and 'public transport' in terms of health, society, and the environment.
  • Phone calls in Victorian times - people did without telephones, now everyone has one - who pays? Do they have any idea of costs?
  • Role play: earnings and taxes - calculate wages on an hourly basis for different jobs. Look at taxes - for schools, roads, health and benefit payments. Everyone can keep £6,745 of earnings free of tax then pay either 20% or 40% on the rest of their earnings depending on how much they are paid.
  • In pairs, list luxury items that they would like. Research online, in magazines, newspapers, etc. to find out the costs for each and compare to their weekly pocket money or average earnings.
  • Collect magazines, look in advertisements, listen to radio commercials to see how many use price as the selling point. How many use offers or bargains?

Potential discussions

1. Accounts

looking at how to read statements. What's included.

2. Building societies/bank:

how they operate. What they do.

3. Borrowing money:

from friends, from parents, from a building society or bank. How interest is involved.

4. Budgeting:

planning/choices. Balancing what's coming in and what has to go out and what can be worked towards. Looking at salaries and ongoing regular household expenses.

5. Change:

the importance of always checking change carefully. Often mistakes are made.

6. Energy efficiency:

realising that lights left on, heat too high, doors and windows left open, all mean wasting electricity and puts up bills.

7. Entrepreneur:

what's involved? Balancing good ideas with setting up finance.

8. Fundraising:

for charities to help less able in this country and abroad.

9. Mortgage/rents:

discussions of differences between a mortgage and rent (be sensitive to their varying home circumstances).

10. Necessities:

realising what's a necessity for living and which items are pleasures or luxuries.

11. Overspending:

debt/pressurising parents for latest gadget/clothes.

12. Paying back what you owe:

understanding this should be a priority plan as soon as you can.

13. Pocket money:

for and against/earning through completing tasks.

14. Savings:

why is it important? Where - in building society/bank/in piggy bank/hidden? Paying in full at the end, rather than taking credit.

15. Shopping trips:

just looking trips/choosing something specific.

16. Store cards/credit cards:

the difference and how they represent invisible money.

17. Taxes:

who gets the money? What's it used for? How everyone who works has to pay towards it.

18. Utilities:

what services are included? How we depend on them therefore need to make allowances in budget.

19. Value for money:

how can you tell? By quality, amount, or that it's needed. Include 'cheap and expensive' terminology.

20. Waste/recycling:

knowing that 'waste' means throwing money away e.g. buying more than you need. Throwing something away when it can be re-used.