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Early Investor Education

Early Investor Education

Greetings, teachers!

Welcome to Morningstar’s six-part curriculum focused on personal finance and financial literacy. This program is designed to help students deepen their understanding of economics and personal finance so they can make well-informed decisions about money and investing. The six courses—Earning Income, Buying Goods and Services, Saving, Using Credit, Financial Investing, and Protecting and Insuring—are aligned with the Council for Economic Education’s National Standards for Financial Literacy.


How to Use This Curriculum

Each module contains the following activities. Complete each activity in the order listed below. Checks for understanding can be completed throughout the course.

Goals and Outcomes

Goals and outcomes guide the teacher/facilitator through what students should research and learn as they work to complete the final project. The teacher/facilitator should use their discretion to gauge how well students understand the material. All goals and outcomes align with the National Standards for Financial Literacy.


This is a short video or article to get students excited about the topic at hand and the final project. Share the video and questions with students as a starting point.


This activity should be used as a way for the teacher/facilitator to understand what students already know about a topic and what lessons can be used to support them through the final project. It should not be graded.

Final Project

As this curriculum focuses on project-based learning, the final project should showcase what students learned about the topic at hand. Each final project simulates real-life scenarios and experiences, is unique to the module being taught, and includes directions on how to complete it. We suggest that students share their final projects with their classes to cultivate a greater understanding of the material.

Checks for Understanding

Checks for understanding are targeted questions related to the goals and outcomes for each module. They should be used throughout the course to help students prepare for their final project. Students should be able to answer each question through personal research and any lessons provided in class. The questions are in order of how they should be researched and “checked” by the teacher/facilitator. We’ve provided articles as a great starting point for research, but students are encouraged to do further research on their own.

About Morningstar

Morningstar, Inc. is a financial services and investment research firm headquartered in Chicago with offices in more than 28 countries. Our mission to empower investor success has remained steadfast since 1984, and we’re committed to helping people reach their goals, no matter where they are on their financial journeys. Rooted in this mission is the idea that when people have access to quality financial information, they can make better choices and see better outcomes down the road.

Our curriculum reflects this mindset of informed decision-making and highlights transparent research and insights on topics related to financial wellness. Morningstar’s CEO and education advocate, Kunal Kapoor, fully supports Morningstar’s involvement in improving financial literacy through resources that are meaningful and accessible to teachers, facilitators, and those interested in learning how to save and invest for the future.

About the Authors

Harron Young is a strategy analyst for Morningstar and a former third-grade math teacher with Teach for America. She has a master’s degree in business administration.
Jessica Gibson is an early career programs lead for Morningstar and former first- and second-grade teacher with Teach for America. She has a master’s degree in urban education, with a focus on administration and policy.


Lead content strategist: Courey Gruszauskas
Editors: Karen Wallace and Amelia Buzzell

The information, data, analyses, and opinions contained herein are provided solely for informational purposes and are not warranted to be complete, accurate, or timely. This content is not intended to be individualized investment advice, but rather to illustrate possible factors that can impact financial decisions. Investors should consider this information in the full context of their own financial decisions.

Read our editorial policy to learn more about our process.