Senior Project: This Is Your Life

Good Monday Morning! For today’s Math Talk Monday, I am going to do something slightly different but equally helpful from a project based learning stand point. I am going to publish only the directions for a final product and let you decide as the teacher what you would need to teach to help your students create this final product.

For seniors in high school, “This is your life.” is a portfolio project to help them feel more prepared. In the school where I taught, some students went to college and some did not. The portfolio was unique to them and their life. The project topics were simple: psychology and finance. At the end of the project, students presented their portfolios in a job fair style event.


Psychology Tasks

01. Your Brain and Money

  • Learn about the brain and how the hemispheres differ.
  • Take the quizz(es) to determine if you are right or left brained and screenshot your results.
  • Write a 2 paragraph response addressing the following questions:
    • How are your brain and your spending habits related?
    • Are you more left brained, right brained, or equal?
    • What does your brain-sided-ness say about your spending habits?
    • How can you use what you have learned about the brain and money to direct decisions about money in the future?

02. Healthy Sleeping Habits

  • Learn about sleep and the important role that it plays in our lives.
  • Participate in lessons about sleep and the biology behind sleep.
  • Write a 3 paragraph response addressing the following questions:
    • Why is sleep important? What happens when someone is sleep deprived?
      • Are you sleep deprived? How do you know?
    • What happens to our bodies when we are sleeping? (Think- stages of sleep)
    • Will you change your sleeping habits after learning about sleep? Why/why not?

03. Personality Traits

  • Discover your personality traits and how they shape who you are.  
  • Participate in lessons about personality and how to manage stress.
  • Write a 3 paragraph response addressing the following questions:
    • What did you learn about yourself from taking the personality inventories?
      • You will want to use evidence from the color code, Myers-Briggs, and type A and B personality inventories.
    • How can you use what you learned to help manage your stress now and in the future?
      • Did you personality inventories help you realize what stresses you out?
      • What are some steps that you can take to manage your stress?

Finance Tasks

04. Your Financial Institution

  • Research and report
  • find a bank or credit union at which you maintain or intend to open an account.
  • If you will be moving away to college, you must find a bank that has locations in Cleveland and within walking distance of your campus.
  • Include the history & overview of the institution.
  • Include why you chose it & what services it offers that appeal to you.
    • What are the ATM charges, if any?
    • Are there credit cards? How does one qualify for a debit or credit card?
    • Basically, what will cost you & what will make you money?
  • Suggested length: 1 page


05. Loans of your Future

    • Research, calculate, and report
    • Choose one of the following loan types, research and report on the necessary information one would need to take out and responsibly pay back this loan
      • Student Loan, Home Loan (Mortgage), Auto Loan, or Small Business Loan
      • Other – get it approved first
    • include things like
      • why this loan is important to you and for you to understand
      • average APR
      • conditions of earning the loan like how does a credit score factor in, repaying the loan, missed payments, changes that might occur
      • What is the recommended proportion of loan payment to income?
    • determine how much you will pay in interest over time
    • for student loans: research and consider loan forgiveness programs
    • Suggested Length: 1-3 pages
    • Extension: complete and additional report on one of the other  loan types



06. Budget

Minimum Wage & Your Grownup Salary
  • Oral Communication Assessment
  • You will meet with Ms. G for about 5-10 minutes to work out your budgets and discuss the what’s and why’s of budgeting.
  • TO PREPARE: research the starting salary of the job you are aiming to have (e.g. first year teacher, police officer, bank teller)
    • you must use your take home pay (subtract out taxes)
    • use the 50/20/30 rule for an overview
    • include a sub point for housing (rent or mortgage)

Template: Budgets Template

Final Tasks

07. Create a 10 Year Plan

08. Elevator Speech

  • We had students create a 90 second elevator speech about themselves and their plans for the future. They used this to get the conversation started when someone visited their station.

09. Present!

When practicing with students, ask them any of the following questions. Have them ask each other. All of these questions should be supported or answerable from one of the portfolio tasks.

  • Will you be taking out student loans to accomplish your goals?
  • What kind of money management skills have you learned?
  • What characteristics do you have that will lead to your success in life?
  • What did you learn about your personality throughout this project?
  • How will you manage the stress of adulthood?
  • What skills have you gained during your education that you will take into the next phase of your life?
  • How much money do you need to make your dreams come true?
  • How does the structure of your brain impact your life?
  • As a hardworking teen, are you getting enough sleep?
  • How do you think your sleep patterns will change once you complete high school and pursue your future plans?
  • What relationship was there between the hours you slept and your mood the following day?
  • What changes will you make to increase the hour and quality of your sleep?
  • Do you think you will open up a credit card in the near future?
  • Do you feel confident about making your own budget?


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