career prep

Q1 Game of Life

16. Career Prep

This Quest features activities from Northwestern Mutual
The Mint- It make perfect cents


It is time to start investigating what the future has in store for you! In this Quest you will visit the mint website where you can play a variety of games about choices, earning $, saving $ (can you be a millionaire?), spending $, and giving $. You will discover some great tips for creating your own savings goals to be able to do and afford the things you love to do.

Key Vocabulary

Budget: A budget is a plan for managing your money.

Income: Income is the money you receive from allowance, doing jobs, working and interest from the bank. 

Interest: Interest is the money the bank pays you when you save money in a special bank account.

Invest: To invest is when you use your money for a special purpose. (eg., purchasing a rare comic book that you save and will be worth more later on)

Saving: Saving is the act of not spending your money, deciding when NOT to buy something.

I Can Statements

  • tell the difference between income, budgets & investments
  • make smart budgetary decisions
  • understand the difference between earning good vs bad credit
  • compare/contrast protection strategies that help pay for losses that occur in life


1. Visit the mint

           Fun for Kids site (Grades 4 & 5)

         mint fun for teens Tips for Teens site

2. Expand the content boxes below for the next steps for Fun for Teens OR Fun for Grades 4 & 5.

Fun for Teens Part 1: Earning, Saving & Spending

Start by visiting the mint section on "Tips for Teens"

Notice the different menus with activities for earning, saving, spending, owing, tracking, giving, investing, safeguarding and try it! These activities are identified below and they can help you prepare for your life ahead.

Review each section including Owing, Tracking, & Giving. Which area do you feel is most important to understand for future successes in your life? Once you have completed your evaluation of each area, turn to your right and discuss your opinion with your neighbor. You should take turns discussing which area you feel is most important. (Continue to Part Two when your discussion is completed. )

Earning: This section will help you look at salaries of different jobs, how to decode your paycheck, balancing work and school and includes a game called "Be your own boss challenge".

Saving: This section has tips for saving money, a five-step save/spend plan, information about how banks work, about savings accounts, how to earn money and save, tricks our mind plays, and includes games called "The Truth About Millionaires," "Saving Calculator," "When Will You Be a Millionaire?" the "Compounding Calculator," and the "Power of 72 Calculator".

Spending: This section helps you evaluate whether to buy something or not, to shop smart, how to figure out when to use cash, check or credit, and the value of money. This section includes interactions for: "How to write a check," "The Spending Challenge," and "What Kind of Spender Are You?"

Fun for Teens Part 2: Owing, Tracking, & Giving

Review the Owing, Tracking and Giving Sections on The Mint. 

1.  Owing: Learn about the advantages/disadvantage and facts about Credit Cards and then play the games "I Paid How Much?" "Debt Calculator" and "Credit Card IQ"

Create a graphic organizer Outlining the Advantages vs Disadvantages of having a create card. Graphic Organizers, you may use include or  Gliffy or any specified by your Teacher. Please ask your teacher how to share your organizer.  

2.  Tracking: Learn about keeping a money diary, tracking your checking account, and credit history. Then play the games: "Determine Your Budget," "Balance Your Checking Account"

Decide on the best way to track your money. Would it be best to create a google doc & create daily entries for how your money is being spent or would you be better off creating a google sheet that calculates money spent each day? Figure out what suits you best and track your money for one week. Are you being a smart spender? Share your results with your teacher.

3.  Tracking: Read Track your Checking Account and try writing a check and tracking it in the online checking account resource.  

4. Tracking: Read Your Credit History and reflect about why positive credit history is important.  Play the Determine your Budget Game and balance your checking account.

6.  Giving: Discover the gift of giving money, time & energy and giving things.

Review the Giving Section on the Mint and reflect on ways you could give. Sometimes giving doesn't always include money. What are some other ways you might be able to give?

Fun for Teens Part 3: Investing & Safeguarding

1. Review the Investing and Safeguarding Tabs.

Investing: Learn about the Stock Market, how to invest your money, and taking risks. Interactives: "The Compounding Calculator," and "The Power of 72"

Safeguarding: These are very important areas to learn about. 

2.  Find two-three students to work with on a presentation on savings tools. Have your teacher assign you an area to create a presentation on:

  • Certificate of Deposit
  • Money Market
  • U.S. Bonds
  • Mutual Funds
  • Stocks
  • Collectibles

Your presentation should include:  

  • A Definition
  • Interest
  • Liquidity (accessibility)
  • Features
  • Images & any additional information about the tool

Present to your classmates! 

3. Safeguarding is an important aspect of your life to understand as you enter adulthood. Review the aspects of safeguarding. Have a discussion with your parents and/or legal guardian about which are the most important areas to safeguard. As you age, which area(s) will you be most concerned with safeguarding?    

  • Protect your property
  • Protect your health
  • Protect your car
  • Protect your family
  • Protect your income

Be sure and play the "Lifespan Calculator"

Fun for Grades 4 & 5 - Part 1: Favorites and Earning $

1. Start on the Fun for Kids page

2. Make a list of the things you love to do using your computing device. Be sure to save your list and check with your teacher about saving and printing it out.
Some suggested options:

3. How many things on your list cost money? Circle them or put a $ next to them.

4. People earn money to be able to spend it on things they love to do. Together with some classmates, read the "7 ways kids can earn money".

5. Now create a new list on computer or paper titled "Things I can do to earn $" and write down at least three ideas you have to earn money.

6. Could you be a "boss" in a job? Play the "Be Your Own Boss Challenge" as a class and discuss each choice OR as directed by your teacher on your own.

7. Check with your teacher about going on to Part 2: Saving $

Fun for Grades 4 & 5 Part 2: Saving $ and Spending

Part 2: (image source from Northwestern Mutual)

1. Visit the Saving Gives You Power

2. Look at the Saving Basics section

Your goal is to figure out ways to NOT spend money so you can save up for the top things on your list you made in Part 1.

3. Look at the 5 simple saving tricks ideas

5 simple saving tricks ideas

3. Download, save and complete this Student Saving List (gdoc file).

4. Discuss in class how banks help you save money and how you can earn money on your savings (called interest).

5. You are ready to play the game Cash Calculator. Start by using the numbers we suggest here and then you can put in your own.

How much money will you get in a week?

  • We will make your allowance 1 (dollar) per week
  • Save 25
  • Spend 50
  • Invest 15
  • Give 10


Press the calculate button and see how much you will have saved in one year.


6. Your challenge is to plan out how much money you have to make each week from your allowance (if you get one), from doing jobs (cut grass, babysitting help, wash dishes...ect.) to see if you can figure out how to save up money for one of the top things on your favorites list or $100.

7. Before you make your plan it's time to find out what kind of spender you are. Take the "What kind of a spender are you?" Quiz game.

8. Now it's time to make your plan for making and managing your money. Open and save and edit this Planning document (Plan to make, spend and save gdoc).

9. When you are done, share it with your class, teacher, and at home.

Fun for Grades 4 & 5 Part 3: Giving

1. Explore the section about Ways to Give 

2. It's time to work in a small group or as a whole classroom to identify some projects that need your help and figure out what you can do. Below are three examples of what others have done.

3. To get some ideas, learn how some students have been helping others. Check with your teacher and work with a partner or a small group and watch one or more of these examples of how classrooms and students are helping others.

  • 2nd grade student helps others


4. Sometimes giving isn't only about money, but a gift of your smile, understanding and offer of help. Write a paragraph about a time you helped someone else, even if in a small way like helping to carry something in, or holding the door open, or when a friend was upset. Describe what happened and what you did to help.
5. As a class, come up with some ideas that you can do for your school, a classmate or your community. Make a plan together.


Check with your teacher to see how you will submit your work for this Quest.

Completing this Quest

When you have finished the activities in the mint assigned by your teacher and have submitted your work, you are ready for the next Quest. 

Check off this Quest on the 21t4s roadmap 

Go to Quest 2 - Who Are You?

Websites and Applications

Competencies & Standards

MITECS   Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students, and

ISTE Standards for Students

3. Knowledge Constructor
a. Plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits
c. Curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections or artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions
d. Build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions


6. Creative Communicator
c. Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models
or simulations.

Common Core Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.1

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.