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But Mom, Dad, I Want to Buy This! (AB)

Subject Area: Drama

Links to the Alberta Drama Curriculum Goals:
  • To acquire knowledge of self and others through participation in and reflection on dramatic experience.
  • To develop competency in communication skills through participation in and exploration of various dramatic disciplines.
Brief Overview of the Lesson:

The class will perform a variety of scenarios about a teen who wants to buy a trendy pair of designer jeans. In small groups, the students create the dialogues for their presentations, making up possible conversations that may occur between the teen and their family members. After each performance the class will talk about what happened, discussing what made good financial sense and how changing the dialogues and the reactions of the people involved could have produced a different ending (e.g., what was said that was helpful, what was said that influenced the outcome, etc.)

Estimated Time Required for Implementation:

1–2 periods

Materials Needed:

Two copies of the scenarios handout, and, if available, some props for the performances.

Suggested Implementation Strategy:
  • Before the period starts, copy and cut up the scenarios.
  • Begin the class by asking the students if they have financial discussions with their parents and how often. Ask the students if they have ever asked their parents to pay for something that they wanted to buy and their parents said “no.” Ask for an explanation as to why they think their parents said “no.”
  • Arrange the class into groups of four. Explain that each group will be given a scenario to portray. They are to assign the roles in the performance, create a dialogue between the family members, and practise their performance.
  • Give each group one of the scenarios. Some groups will have the same scenario. This will allow for a different perspective of the same scenario. N.B. The four scenarios (times 2) require 32 students; the teacher may need to adjust the number of scenarios used to allow all the students in the class to participate.
  • Allow time for creating and practising, and then ask each group to perform.
  • After each presentation, ask the students what they think of the financial decisions that were made, which conversations were positive, and what could have been said differently.
  • Ask the students what they learned about making financial decisions and interacting with family members. Ask what they are likely to do differently in the future?
Possible Links to the Home Program:
  • Ages 11–13 – What kind of spender are you?
  • Ages 11–13 – Decisions and Advertising
Extended Learning Opportunities:

Scenario 1
Write a dialogue between a teen and their parents. The teen is asking for money for a new pair of trendy designer jeans that cost $99. The parents say that they cannot afford it and tells the teen they have enough jeans anyway. The teen yells angrily at the parents telling them they never understand the necessity to have the newest clothes; the teen stomps out of the room. The little brother hears the yelling and starts to cry. The mother is frustrated and says that the teen thinks they are so hard done by and just doesn’t understand the family finances. The father says that their teen is too concerned about image and “Keeping up with the Joneses.” The father shakes his head and tells the mother that he just doesn’t understand teenagers.

Scenario 2
Write a dialogue between a teen, an older sibling and their parents. The teen is asking for money for a new pair of trendy designer jeans that cost $99. The parents say that $99 is a lot to pay for jeans. The older sibling bought a pair with their own money, and says that they are so cool. The teen says that they really want the jeans and is willing to pay half from their own savings. The parents still try to convince the teen that the jeans are too expensive. The older sibling speaks up and suggests taking the teen shopping to see if they can find a sale. The parents like the idea, and, if they cannot find a better price, they, the parents, will pay half of the cost.

Scenario 3
Write a dialogue between a teen and their parents. The teen is asking for money for a new pair of trendy designer jeans that cost $99. The parents walk in holding the hand of their teen’s younger sibling. They say that money doesn’t come easily and that the jeans cost a lot of money. They suggest the teen must earn the money. The teen suggests doing extra chores around the house to earn the money. The parents suggest that baby-sitting the younger sibling on Saturday night would be a good start to earning some extra money. The teen agrees and they sit down to decide on other chores that could be taken on to make money.

Scenario 4
Write a dialogue between a teen and their parents. The teen received some money as a birthday present from the grandparents. In walks an older sibling. The teen tells them that they want to buy a new trendy pair of jeans that cost $99. The older sibling tells them that they just earned $25 by doing nothing! The teen asks how the older sibling made money without doing anything. The older sibling says, it was easy, the money in my bank account earned me $25 in interest. The older sibling says that there is a sale on at the mall and offers to take the teen to get the jeans. The teen says great, but don’t take me to the store, I think I would like to go to the bank instead and deposit my birthday money into my bank account. I would like to earn money for doing nothing too! The older sibling gives the teen a high-five!