Types of Monetary Exchange (Stage 1)
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Types of Monetary Exchange (Stage 1)
How people and technology link through monetary exchanges
Curated by Man Kwan Chan
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Sheep In a Shop

Sheep in A Shop - Written Nancy Shaw, Illustrated by Margot Apple


Note: I only recommend the book, not this interpretation. I would not show this video to a class as some of the words are read wrong. I only put this version up as an example as the words are also filmed.


For a clearer and more precise version please click below but note that the words are not included in this one:


Man Kwan Chan's insight:

This book would serve great as an icebreaker for the topic of monetary exchange. The book is about the sheep trying to find a present for a birthday party, so they head to the shop to see what can find. After a lot of damage and repair, they find the item that they want, but they do not have enough money. They come up with a brilliant idea to trade their wool and ofcourse a happy ending occurs.


LINK: Mathematics – Outcome DS1.1


Teachers are to read Sheep in a Shop to the class then prompt questions to get students thinking about the different ways of paying that was shown in the book: cash and trading.


Then ask students the following questions,

"When your parents do not have enough money to pay for groceries what do they use?"


"So the sheep used cash and traded their wool for the present. How else can you pay for things? What have you seen your parents use?"


Aim of Question – For students to think about the different ways of monetary exchange such as credit cards and cheques, just to add on our list.


From here, teachers will inform students, for this week only, on three occasions write down the amount their parents spend on shopping and what they used to pay (ie. $50 – card). We will collect all the data and make a column graph to see the way adults prefer to pay a particular amount.


The teacher can make this column graph in two ways.


Using Excel and prepare the ‘x’ and ‘y’ axis. In class allow students to highlight the boxes in order to fill in the information. ORUsing cardboard, the teacher will need to prepare the ‘x’ and ‘y’ axis of the chart and make small model cash, cards and cheques so that students can place it in the correct column.



‘X’- axis = horizontal axis – Label: Amount Spent (multiple of $5’s or $10’s depending on the expenditure.

‘Y’- axis = vertical axis – Label: Number of Times Used


Remember for each “Amount Spent” there will be 3 columns to represent cash, credit card and cheque.


Teachers should also help students round up or down to the nearest $5 or $10, depending on the scale of your graph, so that they know where to input their data.


This activity can then be followed up by calculating the average cost of each household in the class and compare that amount to a global level. 

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Australian Aborigines: Trade

The Excerpt from the Article




Aboriginal trade routes covered the continent, connecting different social and ecological systems across Australia. Some of the routes probably existed for over 20,000 years. The Aborigines exchanged trade goods from person to person and from group to group. Scientists have documented this ancient trade by tracing the sources of particular types of stone used for tools. Some types of stone have been found up to 500 miles (800 kilometers) from their origin.

In addition to stone tools and blades, trade items included such objects as wooden and bamboo spears, different types of ocher, spear-throwers, sacred objects, and a chewing tobacco called pituri. The Aboriginal people also exchanged songs and rituals called corroborees, and borrowed forms of social organization from other groups.

Through trade, it was possible for the Aboriginal people to use tools made of materials that they could not obtain locally. Trade also helped people form partnerships outside of their local groups. Partnerships were important, because if the food or water of one country failed, people needed to stay with neighbors who could support them temporarily. Especially in the desert, where rain was least predictable, people needed a good network of relations and partners on whom they could rely. In return for help in hard times, the Aborigines offered their hospitality when their own country was having a good season.


Rose, D. (2013). Australian Aborigines. In World Book Student. Retrieved from

Man Kwan Chan's insight:

This article talks about the different items that Australian Aborigines traded with other groups as a type of monetary exchange. It also provides a brief reason as to why they traded. For this activity, this information is more of a teacher's resource.


LINK: English - Outcomes TS1.3 & TS1.4 - more suitable for students in latter Stage 1


To be able to introduce this topic, students will need to have some background knowledge on their lifestyle, culture and resources available to the Aborigines. Teachers can begin by asking students if they think that they had money, like what we have now back then. Since they didn't, then ask what they think they would have done (cue bringing up the terminology of trade). As a class, discuss about the different items that they used to trade. The teacher can inform students of any missing items.

(NOTE: Teachers should make it clear that although trading was common, this does not mean that all groups did this.)

The teacher should then prompt students to think about the type of language or words that would be used in order to convince someone to trade with you. Select a pairs of students to model out this type of conversation.


Once students seem to understand the concept of trading, split the class into 3 or 6 groups, depending on the size of the class. Each group will assume the persona of an Aboriginal living in one of three types of areas: beach, desert or rainforest. In their groups, they are to brainstorm about the types of items that they can provide the other tribes and what they would need. Encourage students to at least have 3-4 items on both lists. Teachers should also prepare pictures of these three environments to help the brainstorming process.


It is important for teachers to specify the language and sentence structures that should be used in this activity, so as to achieve the outcome. Ames (1992) states that "the structure of learning environment can make different goals salient and consequently affect how students think about themselves (pg 261). Teaching expressing clearly to students about their expectations, allow them to understand the importance of those goals, which hold a direct link to the students' level of engagement and/ or motivation towards that goal.



Ames, C. (1992). Classrooms: Goals, Structures and Student Motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84, 261-272.

Daniel Lee's curator insight, April 7, 2014 10:54 PM

This article explores the various assortments of utensils and tools that Aboriginal peoples utilised to trade for "materials that they could not obtain locally" (Rose, 2013). Through this, children learn the critical notion of bartering and the fundamental role of building partnerships and relationships between communities, as it is somewhat vital to the continuing survival of any Aboriginal community. Through this excerpt, we are able to observe that Aboriginal peoples in systems are able to "link to provide goods and services to satisfy needs and wants" (NSW Board of Studies, 1998, p. 48). Also, it is interesting to note that in linking with people in systems (NSW Board of Studies, 1998, p. 48), Aboriginal peoples exchanged songs and rituals called corroborees, and borrowed forms of social organization from other groups (Rose, 2013). We are able to gather that through the exchange of goods and services, Aboriginal communities are not only socially interacting but also engaging and building fundamental relationships with other communities; this is exemplified as some offered their hospitality when their own country was having a good season, and if the food or water of one country failed, their neighbours were able to temporarily support them (Rose, 2013).


A teaching idea would be creating artworks of the tools and utensils that Aboriginal communities utilised to trade with others. Students can create visual representations of tools such as “wooden and bamboo spears, different types of ocher, spear-throwers, sacred objects, and a chewing tobacco called pituri” (Rose, 2013).


VAS1.1 Makes artworks in a particular way about experiences of real and imaginary things (NSW Board of Studies, 2006, p. 24).


Note: Prior conceptions of these traditional tools are essential if students are to represent them; utilising a smart board to showcase a variety of images will allow students to grasp the visual images of this particular set of tools.


Although assessment often “brings to mind threatening and painful experiences of being judged negatively, and sometimes, embarrassingly, in public, for not learning something successfully” (Gilbert & Hoepper, 2014, p. 97), it is critical to provide positive reinforcement and cite interesting elements of any student’s artwork. Students can share their artworks in a sharing circle and allow other to observe their artworks. On a deeper level, students can think creatively and imaginatively about a story within their artwork; an example may be that they discuss what tools they might require and the tools they are willing to trade for it. [This can connect with literacy – EN1-10C – thinks imaginatively and creatively about familiar texts, ideas and texts when responding to and composing texts (NSW Board of Studies, 2012, p. 73)].



1. Gilbert, R. & Hoepper, B. (2014). Teaching Humanities and Social Sciences: History, Geography, Economics & Citizenship in the Australian Curriculum. 5th Edition. South Melbourne: Cengage Learning Australia.

2. NSW Board of Studies. (2006).  Creative Arts K-6 Syllabus. 

Sydney: B.O.S. Retrieved April 1, 2014, from http://k6.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/go/creative-arts

3. NSW Board of Studies. (2012). English L-10 Syllabus Volume 1: English K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: B.O.S. Retrieved April 1, 2014, from http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/download/

4. Rose, D. (2013). Australian Aborigines. In World Book Student. Retrieved from 



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Money & Wealth: Part I | Doomstead Diner

Money & Wealth: Part I | Doomstead Diner | Types of Monetary Exchange (Stage 1) | Scoop.it

An Excerpt From the Article


"When talking about collapse issues one of the most prominent yet most commonly misunderstood areas comes with our basic understanding of what wealth and money really is. Both are seemingly simple matters yet upon closer inspection we find that are many nuances and subtleties in this story that people often miss. This misconception can even be extended to economists or people in finance that are well versed in money matters.

Indeed it is the complexity of money and all the financial products that derive from it with things such as bonds, stocks or other investment vehicles that can make us easily forget what wealth is really about. In fact it is this distraction through complexity that makes us commonly believe that wealth and money are one of the same things. It is useful to really grasp what wealth is lest we fall into a trap that many people, including the iluminati, who base much of their wealth in abstract financial instruments.

To understand wealth first we must realise that money only acts as a medium of exchange and by itself is not wealth. In addition to being a medium of exchange, money also acts as a means of measuring the relative value between various goods and services. This means of relative valuation while somewhat abstract is essential in any economy as the means of measuring relative values between goods/services becomes too complex without the use of money. These issues of valuation only become more prominent in international trade. Despite these obvious advantages all forms of money from fiat to even gold based currencies do not hold any intrinsic value by themselves. In other words we only place value in money because we can exchange items of value for it. In essence the value of money comes largely from the trust and faith that we have placed in it. This is even truer for fiat based currencies that cannot be redeemed for gold. If money cannot be exchanged for goods or services then any notional value money they have will disappear. For example if one was placed with a $1,000,000 and 1000 gold bars in a desert those forms of money would be of little use. You could not eat, drink or keep cool with this money and so without trade money would be utterly worthless perhaps even a burden and liability due to its weight and the danger it would pose against thieves by simply possessing them. From this simple example we can see that money has no value by itself and therefore cannot be counted as actual wealth."


Also see 



for the top 10 most sold products.

Man Kwan Chan's insight:

This article touches on two very important points and areas that teachers could explore with their class.


(1) What we spend money on reflects on what we value (or society values).

(2) Money ‘does not hold any intrinsic value’ by themselves. They are merely used to exchange for our necessities.


I have chosen to focus on the first point for the activity.


LINK: Mathematics – Outcome DS1.1


Students should have prior knowledge about using money. Teachers should introduce the activity by raising similar questions in the following order,

(1) “When we use money, what sort of items do we buy?”

(2) “What items do you buy all of the time in your house?” “Why?”

(3) “If your parents said, that they will buy you one item, what would you choose?”


Through these series of questions, the teacher can then explain how we spend money is a reflection on what we see as important but also what we want.


After the teacher’s explanation, students are to list the top 5 things they want in order. The teacher is then going to tabulate the information on a column graph to show what the class values and wants.


Next, the class will find out what the top five items the school spends money on and reflect on the importance of those items. The teacher may also ask the students to think about why those items are important.


The students can then continue their research in terms of society (see link attached in the description as an example - as these would change yearly). Again teachers should bring up the same questions from the school. Students should also be encouraged to think about what impact this has on them. As this activity is aimed at a stage one class, the teacher's aim is mostly just to get children thinking about these things and not necessarily understanding how this impacts them. Despite this, every teacher should know their classes limit. 

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Stage 1 Maths - Using Australian Money

Another Stage 1 maths animation from Skwirk. Over 2000 of these available on www.skwirk.com.au
Man Kwan Chan's insight:

This is a great resource to motivate students to start thinking  about how they use money in their everyday lives. Moreover, with the video showing subtraction, this can be easily linked with a lesson in mathematics.


LINK: Mathematics - Outcome: NS1.2


Students will need to have previously been taught about the Australian coins. The teacher starts off by prompting students to write down 5 items that they buy or want to buy from the canteen and their prices. The teacher can then show this video in full. After the first viewing, the teacher can play the video from the beginning again but pause at the 1:07 mark and ask students about the different combinations that they can come up with to pay for the items. Once students understand the concept of adding coins, this small activity can be followed up by a worksheet that has either addition or subtraction or both in working with coins. One worksheet that seems to be very popular is the coin caterpillar for addition.


Assessing a student's progress in regards to their ability to add and subtract can be achieved by collecting the worksheets or allows to students demonstrate how they achieved the answer through answering the question in front of the class. Teachers should also keep in mind that they should randomly select students to answer questions in order to sustain student interest. According to Marzano (2007) helps create suspense which "taps into our sense of curiosity and anticipation" (pg101). 


Marano, R. (2007). The Art and Science of Teaching: A Comprehensive Framework for Effective Instruction. Alexandria: ACSD.     

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Australian Currency for Kids

Australian Currency for Kids | Types of Monetary Exchange (Stage 1) | Scoop.it




Money is anything that is generally accepted by people in exchange for the things they sell or the work they do. Gold and silver were once the most common forms of money. Today, most money is in the form of paper bills and coins made of various metals.



Each country has its own kind of money. The money used in a country is called its currency. In the United States, for example, the basic unit of currency is the U.S. dollar. The euro is the basic monetary unit of many of the members of the European Union. The euro was adopted to create a more unified European economy.


Uses of money


Money has three main uses. First, and most importantly, it is a medium of exchange—something people will accept in exchange for their products or services. Without a medium of exchange, people would have to trade their products or services for other products or services. Long ago, people traded this way. However, such trading, called barter, can take much time. A modern country could not function without a medium of exchange.



A second use of money is that it serves as a unit of account. People use money to set a price for their products and services. In the United States, people use dollars to set a price.



A third use of money is as a store of wealth. People can save money to buy things. Gold, jewels, paintings, real estate, and stocks and bonds can also be used as stores of wealth. People can keep these things and then sell them when they need money to buy something.


Qualities of money



To be useful, money should have several qualities. First, it should come in pieces of standard value that everyone recognizes. Second, it should be easy to carry. Finally, the main unit should divide into smaller units. For example, the U.S. dollar divides into 100 smaller units called cents. One hundred cents equal one dollar. U.S. coins come in amounts of 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cents. The small units let people make small purchases and get change.



In the past, people used beads, cocoa beans, salt, shells, stones, tobacco, and other things as money. But mainly they used metals, such as copper, gold, and silver. These metals made handy, long-lasting money. Today, most money is made of paper. The paper itself has very little value, but paper money has value because everyone accepts it as payment.


Money. (2013). In World Book Kids. Retrieved from

Man Kwan Chan's insight:

This article goes into depth about the uses and qualities of money but begins by mentioning what money is. Teachers can follow the structure of this article when introducing the topic of money to students.


LINK: Mathematics - Outcome NS1.1


(Key Idea: Sort, order and count money using face value.)


Teachers should introduce the word 'currencies' and check for the students’ prior knowledge by asking them the correct terminology for money that is used in different countries (ie. Japan = Yen, Europe = Pound and Euro etc.). Then show students the currency used in Australia. Teachers should allow time for students to familiarise themselves with the different notes and coins.


A Group Activity


The class will be split into groups of 4-5. Each group will be given a set of fake money (one of each note and coin will be sufficient). Within their group they are to arrange them from the least to highest face value. Once the group is finished they will need to sit quietly with their arms folded to alert to teacher. This can run on a points system where the winning team will get the most points and award one point less to the next group and so forth (so as to include all students).


Teachers can assess students through observation while also assessing themselves as the activity progresses. Through the varying engagement levels in the classroom, the teacher may alter the activity so that it is harder (ie. Provide students with a variety of coins only and see how many combinations they can come up with to make a certain amount). While implementing this activity, it would be wise for teachers to be conscious of the grouping of the students. We need to promote inclusion and engagement in our classrooms. Cooperative learning is a very effective tool especially when peer teaching is the aim. In promoting peer teaching in this activity, the framework of Johnson, Johnson and Smith's (2007) Jigsaw method can be applied; where one student has learnt the content and they relate their knowledge onto other group members. When implemented correctly, this will encourage positive interdependence and individual accountability.


Going into depth about the uses and qualities of money, could be stretched out over a few activities to slowly build on the student's understanding and perception of money.


Johnson, D.W., Johnson, R.T., Smith, K. (2007). The State of Cooperative Learning in Postsecondary and Professional Settings. Educational Psychology Review, 19(1), 15-29. doi:10.1007/s10648-006-9038-8


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