Ohhh, My First Car Assignment

A Great Personal Finance Lesson Plan
for the Spring!
Ohhh My First Car is a great assignment for keeping kids interested, especially at the end of the school year when the weather warms and their thoughts drift off to summer break.  They may even be thinking about tooling around in their dream car with their best friend or girlfriend.  If you need a lesson to keep your students focused check out Ohhh My First Car.  It’s the kind of lesson that grabs kids’ attention and holds it all the way through.

It is a great lesson for any Personal Finance class, but if you happen to have a class full of rambunctious boys in the Spring this lesson will keep them engaged.

One of the more memorable moments of my teaching career was when a student of mine stopped by after school one Spring day. He had taken my Personal Finance class two years prior, and was now ready to buy his first car!  He remembered learning how to calculate car payments in the Ohhh My First Car lesson.  And now all he needed was a little help finding the on-line payment calculator.

Boy was I beaming – my students were using what I taught them in class to make informed decisions.

As we talked I got the definite feeling that someone at home was trying really hard to talk him out of buying this particular car.  I also got the feeling that he was dead set on buying his dream car.  He was going to prove to himself and his parents that he could afford that car by calculating the monthly car payments. 

He sat down at my computer.  I gave him the web address he needed to find the calculator.  He pulled it right up, entered all the necessary information, and calculated his monthly payments without a bit of help from me. Then there was a long silence while he stared at the computer screen.

In this shining moment, I did not say a thing, and after a long, silent pause he looked at me and softly said, “I guess I can’t afford that car.”  How empowering for him! He calculated the car payments, and he made an informed decision that now was not the time to buy that car.  I never felt more proud of a student in my life.  I am sure he has gone on to be very successful in life.


Ohhh My First Car is a bundle of 4 lessons designed to teach students everything they need to know about purchasing a new or used car. It is loaded with hands-on lessons that teach students the ins and outs of selecting a vehicle, finding the best interest rates, and calculating car payments.
This unit contains 4 lessons on 64 pages in 13 PDF files all for $12
Lesson 1 – Buying a New Car
In lesson 1 students will research a new car using the Internet.  They will learn how to select car style, color, and options. They will learn how to find information on: customer ratings and reviews, safety and reliability, mileage and warranty.  They will review the vehicle summary and learn the difference between MSRP Price, Invoice Price, and Smart Target Price. 

Lesson 2-Buying a Used Car
In Lesson 2 students will use the Internet to research a used car.  They will learn what certified pre-owned means. They will learn how to find information on seller’s notes, as well as consumer ratings and reviews, safety and reliability, mileage and warranty.  They will learn to research the car’s history including, accidents, recalls and service records. To help determine if they are paying a fair price for the vehicle they will learn to use Kelly Blue Book.

Lesson 3 – Finding the Best Interest Rates
In lesson 3 students will use the Internet to research interest rates.  They will learn how to find a loan from a local bank or credit union that offers the lowest interest rate with the least amount of fees and conditions for the car they selected.
Lesson 4 – Calculating Car Payments
In lesson 4 students use the Internet to learn how to calculate monthly car payments based on the price of the car they chose, and the best interest rates they found in lesson 3. They also learn how to gather additional information by reading the amortization table. By completing this lesson students will learn that the price of the car, the interest rate, and the number of years taken to pay off the car loan all come into play in determining their monthly car payment, as well as the amount of interest paid on the loan.  They will quickly see that loans are not free.
*This unit is aligned with National Core standards for Personal Finance.
*It offers options to make the lessons within it easier or more challenging.
*Discussion questions for each lesson are included in the teacher notes.
*Each lesson is packed with great questions, as well as sample answers.
*Detailed student directions and teacher notes are included.
Thanks for Stopping By! 


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