Below is a sample mind map for Chapter 3: Household Expenditure. This mind map was created using GoConqr. If you create a free account for GoConqr, you can copy and edit this mind map. Students can also be encouraged to create their own mind maps using GoConqr or other online tools, or simply using pens and paper.
Have you ever played Bingo? You may have played it at your local bingo hall or have even played Telly Bingo from the National Lottery. However, did you know that playing Bingo with students is an excellent way to develop their subject-specific vocabulary and improve their oral and written literacy? Given the huge amount of new terms that students encounter when they begin to study Business Studies, it can be a great way to learn new words in a fun way.
Teachers can create Bingo cards using online tools such as My Free Bingo Cards. Teacher bingo calling cards are created as well as student cards. Students will start with a grid filled with terms. The game can then be played in a variety of ways:
Below are links to some pre-generated bingo cards for chapters in 'Time for Business'. When you click on the links below, select the 'Print 30 Free Cards' link. If you plan on playing Bingo with students each year, you might consider laminating the student cards so they can be reused in the future.
Chapter 1: Making the most of your resources
Chapter 2: Household Income
Chapter 3: Household Expenditure
Chapter 4: Financial Planning for Your Future
Chapter 5: Household Budgets
Chapter 6: Recording Income and Expenditure
Business Studies Blog
Chapter 3: Household Expenditure
By happy coincidence the following article, was published just before I began my lessons on household expenditure.
As a result I was able to provide students with a very short introduction to the topic, before using the article as a scaffolding exercise. We read the article together in class and teased out the new vocabulary. We created a list of key words. I also asked students to make a list of the major categories of household spending. For homework the students created bar charts to represent the information.
All in all this proved to be a relatively straightforward chapter to teach, again because of the familiarity of the material to both teacher and students. The students seemed to grasp the key concepts pretty quickly and displayed good understanding when completing activities in class and for homework.
There is quite a lot of numeracy involved in this chapter and for the most part students were happy to engage with it. There are certainly plenty of opportunities for students to practice numeracy activities and most seemed to enjoy the challenge.
I felt that the section dealing with analysis of household spending patterns was very important and I made a special effort to connect the news article (used at the outset) to the material on pages 26 -28 of the textbook. This textbook material uses charts to illustrate and analyse household expenditure by category and also deals with solutions to overspending. It’s very much a personal view, but I perceive this material to be very relevant from an exam perspective. It also helps build understanding for the household budgeting chapters which follow.
Leaving aside the exam perspective for the moment, it’s important to bear in mind that an over-arching aim here is the promotion and development of ‘positive’ spending habits in our students. By this I mean providing them with the capacity to develop sustainable patterns of expenditure which are closely aligned to both their needs and their resources. Many financial difficulties experienced by households are the result of poor and unsustainable patterns of spending rather than once-off financial mishaps. Households are more likely to live beyond their means when they focus on wants over needs; prioritise discretionary expenditure over more important fixed expenditure or continuously make high value purchases on impulse. Changing or preventing these types of spending patterns is where the life-long learning occurs. This chapter is really about starting that discussion and raising awareness. Don’t forget that L.O. 1.2 makes clear reference to “best managing financial resources” and “making informed and responsible judgements”.
I focused a little on students own spending, but was reluctant to analyse it too much mainly because I was conscious of the different financial circumstances within the class. While the students did some homework on this, it was never openly discussed in class in order to avoid any potential embarrassment for students. Students personal spending was however useful for revisiting the issue of discretionary income and highlighting examples of discretionary expenditure.
Learning Outcome 1.2 states:
Identify and classify sources of income and expenditure, compare options available to best manage financial resources, evaluating the risks associated with each option and making informed and responsible judgements.
In our view, the following are the key ideas and messages for this topic:
The overarching aim of this learning outcome is the development of effective financial management skills.
The focus is on financial planning, risk assessment and the ability to choose between alternatives. Upon completion, students should be equipped to make informed financial decisions which are appropriate to their circumstances and life stage.
The video on this page on the Irish Times website looks at spending alternatives for the €110million which Manchester United paid to Juventus for the footballer. It's light-hearted and uses 'currency' which the students are familiar with, e.g. Tayto Crisps, cars, etc.
It would be a great ice-breaker and introduction to the topic of opportunity cost and should certainly help students to think of alternative uses for money.
If you wish to take it to a deeper level and explore some economic theory, there is scope to look at the impact of supply and demand on price (transfer fees) and perhaps also the purchasing power of a player who reportedly earns €220,000 per week. That would buy an awful lot of Taytos, but might be subject to diminishing marginal utility!
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