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Financial Literacy Activities

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Exploring the minimum wage

Students research U.S. Department of Labor web resources to learn about the minimum wage and some laws affecting workers.


Earn (Getting paid, Making money)


CTE (Career and technical education), English or language arts, Social studies or history

Grade Level

High school (9-10), High school (11-12)


45-60 minutes

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Big idea

Minimum wage laws set the lowest hourly rate a person can earn doing a specific eligible job.

Essential questions

  • What is the minimum wage? 
  • What protections does the government provide for workers’ earnings?


  • Become familiar with federal minimum wage laws
  • Recognize specific wage laws that apply to young people

What students will do

  • Read a poster about the federal minimum wage and other pay issues.
  • Answer reading comprehension questions.
  • Do Internet research to determine how their state’s minimum wage compares to the federal minimum wage.

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Teacher guide


Student materials


Note: Please remember to consider your students’ accommodations and special needs to ensure that all students are able to participate in a meaningful way.

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