Fourth Grade Unit 2: Dollars and Sense


ELA Standard: Reading Comprehension

  • 2.6 Distinguish between cause and effect and between fact and opinion in expository text.

Mathematics: Statistics, Data Analysis and Probability

  • 1.1 Formulate survey questions; systematically collect and represent data on a number line; and coordinate graphs, tables, and charts

Critical questions to ask while teaching:

  1. Is that really a good buy?
  2. Do you have enough money for that?

What they will understand at the end of the unit:

  1. Evaluating what has the "best" price
  2. Analyzing data charts
  3. Buying on a budget

Essential background they will need to start this unit:


  1. Dollars: The money we use in the United States (show visuals); paper money.
  2. Cents: Coin money in the United States (show visuals); Money values under one dollar.
  3. Sense: Smart, understanding, has basic knowledge.
  4. Income: Money that you make or earn.
  5. Expenses: Money that you have to spend, for things like rent, housing, groceries.
SELs and others
  1. Currency: the money of a country. In the U.S. we use dollars.
  2. Salary: the money a person makes at a job is called salary.
  3. Graph: a visual representation of numbers. Sometimes it is in a circle (or pie), sometimes it is a line, sometimes bars.
  4. Chart: another visual representation of numbers. Usually in columns or rows.
  5. Infographic: a picture that gives information. Charts and graphs are infographics.
  6. Data: is just a fancy word for information. Usually, it means information in number form that you can gather together and analyze.


  1. Creating basic charts and graphs digitally
  2. How to calculate unit pricing
  3. Budgeting money

Materials to be used



Other Materials

BrainPop Money
BrainPop Comparing Prices
BrainPop Budget
Brain Pop Graphs
Ideas about Money
Arthur Rides the Bandwagon
Lucky Money
Mizmercer's Favorite Links on 4unit2 from Diigo

Assessment Evidence


  • End of unit survey on Google Docs


  • Blog entries

Learning Activities

Week One
review what we know about money

Week Two
learn about unit pricing
What's more expensive?
  • Show photos of painters' tape
  • Ask them for their guesstimates
  • Show them how to calculate unit price
  • Write your findings on blog
Week Three
learn about salary and expenses
How much do you need to make?
  • What is a living wage? What is a minimum wage?
  • How much does it cost to live on your own?
  • Write about what you learned about salary and expenses
Week Four
learn about charts and graphs
Why are some things easier to understand when you have a picture?
  • Charts make it easier to see numbers
  • Graphs make numbers easier to understand
  • Make some graphs of your own

learn about coordinate graphing
How do you graph coordinates on a grid?
  • What are the X and Y axis?
  • When you get numbers what comes first and last?
  • Why is this important?
  • How can you use it?

revisit graphs
Reading graphs, what do you see?
  • Look at some of graphs
  • What did we learn?

learn about marketing tricks

learn about budgets
How much do you need to make?
  • Review what we learned about local wages and expenses
  • Figure out a budget for yourself
  • See how far that money will go, by shopping online