7 - 16 15 - 60 minutes

Needs and wants activity

The Needs and Wants interactive tool helps students understand the difference between items that are ‘needs’ and those that are ‘wants’, and practise separating items into these two categories in order to achieve a goal. Using a variety of real-life scenarios the tool encourages students to consider how necessary items are in relation to their own spending habits and how they make more informed financial decisions

There are a set of scenarios for primary school pupils and another for those at secondary school, however educators of secondary school children may find that some of the primary school scenarios also relate to their group.

Once you have completed one of the existing scenarios, this needs and wants activity also gives you and your class the opportunity to get creative and create your own scenarios to separate out  items which are essential from those which are nice to have.

Tool learning outcomes

By completing the needs and wants activity, students will be able to:

  • Know the difference between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ and be able to prioritise them in different scenarios
  • Reflect on their own money personality and spending habits
  • Feel more confident making financial decisions for the future

How can you use this tool in your lessons to support students’ financial skills?

With a focus on scenarios students are likely to be facing, or face in the near future, this tool helps them to reflect on their existing money habits. It can be completed as a group as a lesson starter, or is a great way to finish a finance-focused lesson.

The student-facing version of the tool can be accessed by students themselves, and is ideal for homework, independent work or remote learning.

Explore Money skills lessons from LifeSkills that build on other areas such as value for money, the next steps in their financial journey including saving, borrowing and bank accounts, as well as dealing with financial dilemmas.

If you’re a primary school educator, you can discover LifeSkills lesson plans for 7-11 year olds to help develop their financial literacy, covering topics including banking and budgeting, keeping money safe, making the most of money and different payment methods.

Looking to include financial capability as a focus in your pupils’ wider curriculum? Refer to our Content guide to find out how LifeSkills resources can be used in PSHE or Maths lessons.

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