JA Ourselves

Home   JA Ourselves

kindergartenProgram Overview

JA Ourselves introduces kindergarten students to the intersection of financial literacy and early elementary grades social studies learning objectives. Through hands-on classroom activities, the program provides students with an introduction to personal economics and the choices consumers make to meet their needs and wants. It also introduces students to the role of money in society while providing them with practical information about earning, saving, and sharing money.

Following participation in the program, students will be able to:

  • Practice personal economics by considering choices.
  • Explain the difference between needs and wants.
  • Understand the concept of money, particularly earning and saving.
  • Identify the importance of giving for a worthy cause.

Please note: The information on this page relates to 2016/17 program materials. For some schools, we are also using materials from the previous version of the program. If you are using those materials and would like to view training videos, click here.

Session Overviews & Objectives 

Session One – This or That? Make a Choice

Overview: Students practice economics by making personal choices.

Students will be able to:

  • Identify personal interests.
  • Consider the factors that determine personal choices.
  • Define money.

Session Two – Do I Need What I Want?

Overview: Students recognize that people have basic needs and wants and that money-smart people know the difference between them.

Students will be able to:

  • Explain the difference between needs and wants.
  • Create a simple chart.

Session Three – A Penny Earned

Overview: Students are introduced to storybook characters and examine ways they can earn money.

Students will be able to:

  • Describe the role of money in society.
  • Identify jobs they can do to earn money.

Session Four – A Penny Saved

Overview: Students are introduced to the concept of saving.

Students will be able to:

  • Explain the importance of saving money.
  • Identify a savings goal.
  • Identify a place where people save money.

Session Five – A Penny Shared

Overview: Students are introduced to storybook characters and their plans to earn money for a worthy cause.

Students will be able to:

  • Explain the importance of giving.
  • Organize a chronological sequence of events.

Program Basics

  • Includes a series of five sessions recommended for students in kindergarten.
  • Average time for each session is 30 minutes.
  • Materials are packaged in a self-contained kit that includes detailed plans for the volunteer and materials for 30 students.
  • Uses hands-on activities to demonstrate wants, needs, earning, saving, and giving.
  • Session-specific, age-appropriate materials included to increase student interaction and emphasize JA’s experiential approach to learning.
  • Correlates well to state social studies, English, and math standards, as well as the Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts and mathematics.

JA Ourselves enhances students’ learning of the following concepts and skills:

Concepts: Buying, choices, costs, earning, giving, goals, goods and services, interests, money, needs and wants, saving, society, spending, values

Skills: Counting, decision making, drawing conclusions, following directions, graphing and graph interpretation, listening, matching and classifying, predicting, problem solving, reading and writing, self-assessment, sequencing, teamwork, verbal communication, vocabulary building

Training Videos

Courtesy of Junior Achievement of South Dakota: