The Recession

Based on a written story, The Recession is a stimulating lesson based on students developing their understanding of the financial world and planning for a financially secure future.

Students will learn the difference between what they want and want they need and will learn to plan and budget for a financially secure future through a series a tasks.

Lesson objectives

By the end of the lesson, ALL students will learn: That there has been a recession which has affected people and could affect their futures.

By the end of the lesson, MOST students should learn: When budgeting it is important to understand the difference between wants and needs.

By the end of the lesson, SOME students could learn: The importance of planning to further their education to get a suitable job to help maintain a secure financial future.

Activities for the lesson

Equipment required: ICT Internet / projector, Whiteboard, Printed handouts

Lesson starter


Students individually attempt to give a definition of the term 'recession' and share with the class.

If no correct correct definition is provided by the students, teacher to explain to the class. Definition could be as simple as '...a slowdown in economic activity, when employment, household incomes and business profits fall.'

Teacher input

Whole class

Teacher to introduce lesson objective; to understand that planning and budgeting is the key to a financially secure future, and ask students to read:

Class discussion

Whole class

Teacher to facilitate discussion concerning what students feel about the recession and encourage them to think about how it relates to their future.



Using Handout 2 - Timeline, students to complete a timeline of what they would like to achieve/have by the time they are certain ages using the selection of 'wants' on the handout.

They can also add their own.

Class feedback

Whole class

Once completed Timelines to be shared with the class.

Financial/non-financial dependant


Students to colour code their 'wants' into two categories; financially dependent e.g. nice house, car and non financial e.g. happiness, children.

This will show that not all achievements are financially related, it is most probable that most will be and therefore this needs to be addressed.

Venn diagram


Using Handout 3 - Venn diagram, students to complete the diagram of what they consider to be lifestyle choices and what they need to survive.

They may feel some will fall into both categories e.g. a car.

  • Lifestyle - they choose to have an expensive car
  • Survive - a car is needed to get to work

What I need to do

Whole class

Students to complete Handout 4 - What I need to do, with what they need to do in order to achieve what they need to survive or to have a comfortable lifestyle.

Teacher should lead students to think about planning, budgeting, saving but most importantly getting a job that can provide all the things they need.

Job and money quiz


Students to complete Handout 5 - Job and money quiz to test their basic knowledge of money and jobs. Quiz results can be discussed as a whole class or in small groups to identify if there are any eye opening results. Correct answers are available on the Teacher's answer sheet.

Work and careers


Students to list three jobs that they would like as a career, they must find out the average earnings and what qualifications they would need. This can be looked up on the internet if facilities available or teacher could compile a list pre-empting what the class is likely to suggest - if no facilities available this could be estimated and then set for homework.

Action plan


Using Handout 6 - Action plan, students to complete an action plan with five points stating what they will do to ensure they have a financially secure future.

Written comments


Teachers can use Handout 7 - Comment sheet to collect written comments from the students.

Icon key

Icon Key

Key skills and learning skills

  • Communication
  • Application of number
  • ICT
  • Problem solving
  • Working with others
  • Improving own performance
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Exploring meaning
  • Reflection
  • Research skills
  • Presentation skills

AFL strategies

  • Sharing learning objectives
  • Use of questioning
  • Effective feedback
  • Modelling
  • Pupil self assessment
  • Peer assessment
  • Ongoing assessment
  • Adjusting teaching/reviewing
  • Plenary

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