Exploring the Stock Market - Investing for Fifth Graders
Just how much CAN a 10 year old gain playing the stock market? (And it's not all about the money!)
Rationale
Understanding math and graphing, and developing skill in these areas, is important for fifth grade students.  Using the stock market as a "real world" source of information, students have the opportunity to collect and track data in this investment simulation.  Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and the process of working with fractions, decimals, and the rounding of numbers are necessary tasks for students to use to see if their stock “investments” result in a profit or a loss.  By tracking and graphing the daily close price of stocks, students not only gain a sense of how the stock market fluctuates, but they also create a powerful numerical and visual picture of the overal performance of their investment stocks over time (a duration of several weeks).  Students will use the Internet for research (to access Yahoo! Finance and Google Finance websites to check daily stock values) and Microsoft Excel for data collection and graphing.  Many extension activities are possible for extended learning.  After stocks have been tracked and graphed, students could use Microsoft PowerPoint or Comic Life software to share experiences and findings for classroom presentations.  Students could even create a podcast with software such as Apple Garage Band and iTunes, and showcase their graphs and learning to a much larger audience via the Web.