Extra Credit (Spring 2008)

  Share the Wealth

Using Katrina's Classroom in the Classroom and Beyond

Katrina's ClassroomRamona Dew, a business teacher at Farragut High School in Knoxville, Tenn., shared information about ways she incorporates Katrina's Classroom: Financial Lessons from a Hurricane, a DVD-based curriculum from the Atlanta Fed, into her classroom.

Dew uses the DVD in conjunction with a budget assignment. "Students need to understand that preparing for emergencies is an essential element in financial planning success. Typically, they jump into the budget process and forget all about establishing an emergency fund," she said.

The assignment challenges students to budget for all monthly expenses with an income of $1,600. The class is usually split between those with money left after budgeting and those in a deficit. She uses these two outcomes to discuss ways students can cut costs and budget their "extra cash."

Related Links
Katrina's Classroom: Financial Lessons from a Hurricane

Following this discussion, Dew shows them the Katrina's Classroom DVD, which tells the real-life stories of how three teens and their families coped with the financial and other challenges of Hurricane Katrina. After viewing the video, Dew's students' perspectives change dramatically, she said.

A related activity Dew uses is a field trip to a bank to look at the vault with safety deposit boxes. She has the bank officer discuss the importance of placing valuable records and items in a secure location.

To download or order the Katrina's Classroom DVD and lesson plans, see the related link.

By Jackie Morgan, economic and financial education specialist, Nashville Branch