George Lucas Educational Foundation

Kickstarting Collaboration With a Lockbox Challenge

When teens work together to solve puzzles, they practice much-needed social skills—and engage more deeply with the content.

February 10, 2023

“With the pandemic, kids have been staring at screens for a couple of years now,” says Susan Bistransin, of Prince George’s County Public Schools. “And they relish being able to get away from that. I think part of what they lost—not just learning loss during the pandemic—was socialization. Working in teams is something that doesn’t come naturally to most kids anymore.”

Bistransin and other teachers at Parkdale High School in Riverdale, Maryland, have found that high school students are more engaged in off-screen activities, particularly ones where kids get to work together. In Oscar Peña’s financial literacy class, kids collaborate on a regular basis. Eleventh grader Iraima enjoys the fact that she gets to talk with other classmates and share opinions. “I’ve definitely built a lot of friendships throughout the class.”

In this fun lesson, kids race against the clock to test their knowledge of what they’ve learned about online banking. Like escape rooms, this kind of activity is built around a story or scenario, and it works well for reviewing information at the end of a unit or before an assessment.

You can download a lesson plan, student activity sheet, and an answer key for this activity, courtesy of Susan Bistransin, NBCT.

Want more ideas for teaching financial literacy? Here’s another fun financial game for students.

Parkdale High School

Public, Suburban
Grades 9-12
Riverdale, MD

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Filed Under

  • Financial Literacy
  • Collaborative Learning
  • Game-Based Learning
  • 9-12 High School

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