After the mascot designing project, the persuasive letter project and a research project on the eight great regional cuisines of China, the 7th grade Wu Ji Xian class completed another project in their target language—a financial literacy project named “ru guo wo you yi bai wan,” or, “if I had one million dollars.”
This project was designed to use math fundamentals to help encourage financial responsibility and organization. Students were introduced to this project by answering questions like, “If you had a million dollars (tax free), what would you do with that money? Would you invest it, take a trip or give it to charity?” In order to complete this project, the students also researched “riches” that go beyond material things and big bank accounts. They looked up their dream school’s tuitions; made detailed plans for their family trips, including transportations, meals, hotels and other expenses; explored the real estate market in the cities where they plan to live; researched different charities to find ones that support causes they care about; and made their investment and saving decisions.
At the end, students completed a detailed essay, complete with graphs, to explain their financial planning, such as how they want to invest their money, donate their money and save for their future education, and so on. Working in pairs, students filmed themselves interviewing one another about their financial plans. Their films were very creative. Some students decided to have a formal interview with their partners, similar to a business news program, while others choose to do a TMZ-style casual talk. We screened the films in both Wu Ji Xian classes, and students greatly enjoyed watching their self-made “news.”