The following books and online resources have been assembled to help support 2nd grade math instruction pertaining to money. Many of these resources can be integrated into lessons on identifying and comparing money value, counting and exchanging coins, and making change.
Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday, written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz, tells the story of Alexander, a young boy who is given a dollar from his grandparents. After wasting the money on candy, bets, and toys, he decides to try to make money instead of spending it. He looks for loose change, recycles bottles, and even tries to pull out a tooth in an attempt to get money from the tooth fairy. None of Alexander’s ideas work and he his left with a deck of cards, a melted candle, a one-eyed bear, and some bus tokens.
Pigs Will Be Pigs: Fun With Math and Money, written by Amy Axelrod and illustrated by Sharon McGinley-Nally, chronciles the adventures of some very hungry pigs in a house with no food. Mr. Pig wants to eat out but the Pigs have no money. So the family searches the house, looking under beds, carpets, and even the washing machine. Soon they’ve found enough coins and bills to head out to the Enchanted Enchilada.
The Go-Around Dollar, written by Barbara Adams and illustrated by Joyce Audy Zarins, tells two stories. One story follows a one-dollar bill as it is passed from person to person. The bill eventually ends up being framed as the first dollar earned at a new store. The other story provides factual information about dollar bills and features labeled pictures of a dollar bill with explanations of its various numbers and symbols.
26 Letters and 99 Cents, by Tana Hoban, is actually two books. The first half of the book is dedicated to letter and initial sound recognition. But the second half of the book uses a variety of coins to demonstrated counting from 1 to 99. In addition to vivid photographs that can help young learners with coin identification, the book also illustrates the concept of monetary equivalency grouping.
A Quarter from the Tooth Fairy, written by Caren Holtzman and illustrated by Betsy Day, tells the tale of how a young boy spends a quarter he got from the Tooth Fairy. First he buys a monster but later returns it, getting 2 dimes and a nickel. He continues to buy and return things, receiving different combinations of 25 cents with each exchange. The book can serve as an excellent introduction to the idea that different coins can produce the same value.
H.I.P. Pocket Change is facilitated by the U.S. Mint. It offers a variety of games and puzzles that promote knowledge of money value and money counting skills. This site also provides lots of factual and historical information about money that is presented in engaging and interactive formats.
Discovering Coin Values is an entertaining and visually stimulating money counting game provided by toonuniversity.com. The game challenges students to reach specific amounts by selecting the appropriate coins and sliding and flipping them into a container. If the student makes an error, the game offers feedback to help them select the correct coins. This game is an excellent medium in which to practice money counting.
KidsBank.com is sponsored by Sovereign Bank and offers some fun stories and comic strips that teach children about money. Some of these stories involve money values and equivalent exchanges as well as general information about how money is used. Students can also take quizzes in the site’s game room to test their money knowledge.
Practical Money Skills for Life provides valuable money education for children and adults alike. The site offers a variety of games geared for different ages and skill levels. The game Ed’s Bank is a great tool for 2nd graders to reinforce their knowledge of coin values and compare money set values as they save to buy items from a store. The game is entertaining and is ideal for capturing a 2nd grader’s attention.
Learning to Use Money offers detailed information about money value and equivalent monetary exchanges. It has excellent images of coins and dollar bills, demonstrates how money is added and combined to make different amounts, and offers a game in which students can practice adding coins to reach specific totals. This site does a terrific job visually representing the relationship of coins and bills or varying values.
The Money Page is another great resource for practicing money skills. This site offers a variety of word problems pertaining to money as well as games that promote coin counting skills. Problems are presented in a visually stimulating manner and incorporate realistic coin images.
The Moneyville page, sponsored by the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, provides a history of money, details about strange currencies of the past, information about the artwork found on coins and bills, interesting facts about money, measurement facts regarding money, and generally fun facts about currency. This wealth of information can inspire a variety of creative money lessons.
At Euro Kids’ Corner, students can get a chance to learn about the currency of Europe. In addition to providing an abundance of information about the Euro, this site also provides a history of money, information on early currencies of Europe, and describes different european currencies that were used throughout the 20th century. The site is complimented with great photos and visual imagery.
The money page at A to Z Kids Stuff is a great resource for teachers. This page has a money poem, book recommendations, and categorically sorted links to a variety of money education activities. There are also craft suggestions and lots of other cross-curricular activities that can enhance an instructor’s money lessons.