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To think about a number of aspects of money.

by The Revd Oliver Harrison

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To think about a number of aspects of money.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need one coin of each denomination.
  • OHP.
  • Optional: Whiteboard or flipchart, and a cloth bag.


  1. Tell this story:

    Once there was a queen called Victoria. While she was queen a man in Scotland saw a picture of her in a gallery. The portrait was for sale for a thousand pounds. The man wished he had a painting of the queen – not because he loved her but because if he had one he would be able to sell it for a thousand pounds.

    Shortly after, he went fishing and caught a huge salmon. The salmon was worth about ten pounds. But the man knew that salmon was the queen’s favourite fish and he had an idea. He wrapped up the fish and sent it straight to the queen by fast train. He added a little note that said: ‘Your majesty, I am your biggest fan. I caught this salmon while out fishing. I know it is your favourite fish so I am sending it to you. All I ask in return is for a picture of your royal highness so that I can see you every day.’ But he didn’t really love the queen – he just wanted to sell the picture and make some money.

    A few days later a very large parcel arrived from the palace. The man was so excited. He opened it and found a lot of wrapping. Maybe it was a small picture. He kept on unwrapping the layers of paper and it got smaller and smaller. Finally he found the picture of the queen, but it wasn’t a painting – she had sent him a one penny coin stuck to a piece of cardboard!
  2. Ask the children if they know what the eight coins are that we usually use in Britain (1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1, £2).

    Optional: Use a whiteboard or flipchart to work out how much it would cost you if you gave every child in Year R a 1p coin (i.e. 30 times 1p is 30p), every child in Year 1 a 2p coin, every child in Year 2 a 5p coin, and so on (staff get £2 each!). Ask them what they would do with the money! Talk about how much some people earn or live on.
  3. Place the eight coins (one of each denomination) on the OHP screen. Their silhouettes will be projected. One at a time, move a coin off to one side away from the others and ask the children to guess which coin it is, removing it or replacing it when they answer correctly (this is quite tricky and very good fun).

    Optional: As well as or instead of the OHP game put all eight coins in a cloth bag and ask a child to find a named coin just by sense of touch. Talk about how blind people have to feel the size and shape of the coins.
  4. You could end with a Bible story involving coins, perhaps one of the following: Jesus catches the fish with his and Peter’s tax in its mouth (Matthew 17); give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what is God’s (Matthew 22; Mark 12); Judas betrays Jesus (Matthew 26, 27); the widow’s mite (Mark 12; Luke 21); the parable of the lost coin (Luke 15).

Time for reflection


Are you a saver or a spender, or a bit of both?

Do you like buying things, or having money most?

Are you kind with money, when you buy a present

Or do you keep it for yourself one hundred per cent?

Do you think the richest people are the happiest?

Or can someone with lots of friends be even more blessed?



Dear God,

Please help us to use money wisely,

to think about people who have less than we do,

and to be generous.



‘When I needed a neighbour’ (Come and Praise, 65)

Publication date: February 2007   (Vol.9 No.2)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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