May 19, 2020

End-of-the-Year Activity: The Index Card

As the school year is coming to an end, teachers are likely wrapping up content, conducting final assessments, and finding closure to the school year. A great way to end your course is an activity where students can conduct some self-reflection on what they have learned and the impact of that knowledge. An activity we recommend is to have students create their own index card.

Taken from the book The Index Card - Why Personal Finance Doesn't Have To Be Complicated, students reflect on what they have learned about personal finance on one index card.

Here is a link to the details of the activity. Feel free to "make a copy" and customize it to use with your students. 


The Index Card Activity Details: 

First, give a basic overview of Olen and Pollack's book and have students gather a bit of background information on the book by watching the PBS News interview with Harold Pollack. Also included is an NGPF podcast with Helaine Olen if students are interested in learning more. 

Then, have students create their own index card. This is meant to be a reflective activity of gathering and writing down the most important concepts that each student has learned about personal finance this year. As the directions state, have students submit a picture of their index card to you for review and then prompt them to store their index card in a place where they will find it again in a few months or a few years. When they later find the index card, a lot of what they have learned will become "real" and hopefully, another personal reflection will take place.

Two suggestions:

  • You could have students post their index cards on a shared resource such as Padlet or Google Slides so they can view each other's ideas.
  • There are many index cards available online. Since we are teaching remotely, be aware of students copying work. There should be some connection to your course in the index card that is submitted. To help combat cheating, you could add additional requirements to the activity or give students a list of units that were covered throughout the year that should be included on their index card (e.g. What is the most important thing you learned about saving? About taxes? About investing?).



We would love to hear how you adapt this activity and the takeaways from your students! Reach out to Amanda at to share your ideas and final products!

About the Author

Amanda Volz

Amanda joins the NGPF Team with over 20 years of experience teaching personal finance. During that time, she led her students to hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships, won multiple awards, and most importantly, impacted the financial lives of thousands of high school students. Amanda prides herself on being an educational leader and is constantly looking for innovative ways to make the classroom relevant, rigorous, and fun. She is a passionate advocate for financial education and has been a long-time member of the NGPF community. Fun fact - Amanda was NGPF’s first teacher account! When Amanda isn’t working, she enjoys cooking, gardening, and traveling with her husband and two children.

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