Virtual Adaptation - COMPARE: Tax Forms & Their Purpose

May 04, 2020
Teaching Remotely, Taxes

Tax forms contain so many letters and numbers that it can be hard for students to keep them straight. COMPARE: Tax Forms & Their Purpose is an activity that has students identify the purpose of a variety of tax forms including the W-2, W-4, 1099, 1040, and I-9.

At a time where many schools have transitioned to offering asynchronous and synchronous learning, we've listed some adaptations that might work for your current classroom environment.


ASYNCHRONOUS Learning Environment Ideas:

  • Assign and complete the activity as written.
  • Have students do the research on their OWN by creating a graphic organizer of the tax forms and their purpose. Students can use digital resources to create their graphic organizers or just use paper and pencil/markers! Here are simple directions you can provide to your students.

SYNCHRONOUS Learning Environment Ideas:

  • Create a slide deck (here is an example) with the clues to display on your screen. Have students submit their answers in a chat or Google Form.
  • Use the asynchronous idea listed above to have students create their own graphic organizers. Students will need to complete this portion outside of synchronous class time. Students can submit their graphic organizer to you and bring it to the synchronous lesson. You can then review each tax form and it's purpose...and possibly show an example of each form during your discussion!
  • Convert the matching activity to a drag-and-drop activity using an online tool such as Wordwall (here is one that NGPF Fellow Brian Page already created).



Fine Print activities allow students to analyze financial documents in more depth. An extension to the COMPARE: Tax Forms & Their Purpose activity is to have students complete either or both of the following Fine Print activities:

View NGPF's Virtual Adaption Series if you're looking for additional resources with suggestions on how to facilitate in a virtual environment!

About the Author

Amanda Volz

Amanda joins the NGPF Team with 18 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.