Do You Use Cash?

Purpose:   This communicative activity is designed for low level literacy students working on the theme of money.

Prep time: 5-10 minutes

Materials: realia (props) to teach new vocabulary: cash, coins, checks, credit cards, money order; copies of the attached handout “Money Grid”.

Prep:  If you don’t want to use the real item, find pictures of the above vocabulary words; make a set of large flash cards with the new words on them


1) Remind students of the theme: money.

2) Plan on doing lots of oral work first.  Ask students if they have money.  Ask them to show it to you.  Find out if they know the words cash and coins.  Show them the difference using the real thing.  Ask “what’s this?” until everyone can say the words and associate them with the correct item.

3) Talk about what they use to pay for food or gas.  Introduce the words check and credit cards.  Find out if anyone has these items and ask them to show everyone, or just use the items you’ve brought.  Repeat the procedure in 2), asking “what’s this?”  Now review the 4 words together.

4) Talk about what students use to pay bills.  Do they know what a money order is?  Where can they get one?  Introduce the word money order, then practice all the new vocabulary again, orally.

5)  Using the flash cards, introduce the written form one word at a time.  Have students practice reading the words and placing them next to the items.

6) Write the words on the board and read them together.  At this point, students can copy them in their notebooks.

7)  Introduce the question “Do you use _________?” by modeling and using realia.  Have students practice the question as well.

8)  If you have an overhead projector, fill out the chart on the overhead as you ask learners the questions.  Or make an enlarged copy, so students can easily see what you are doing.

9)  Finally, give each student a copy of the chart and have them move around the room, interviewing each other and filling in the chart.

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