JA Ourselves®

JA Ourselves® introduces young children to the economic roles of individuals. Compelling stories read by a volunteer and hands-on activities teach students about helping, working, and earning and saving money.

JA Ourselves® is a series of five activities recommended for students in kindergarten. The average time for each activity is 30 minutes. Materials are packaged in a self-contained kit that includes detailed activity plans for the volunteer and materials for 30 students.

JA Ourselves® enhances students’ learning of the following concepts and skills:

  • Concepts – Barter, Benefit, Buying, Choices, Consumer, Costs, Earning, Entrepreneurs, Giving, Goods, Incentives, Income, Money, Resources, Rewards, Saving, Scarcity, Selling, Spending, Voluntary exchange, Wants, Work
  • Skills – Abstract thinking, Coin recognition, Coin valuation, Decision-making, Drawing, Following directions, Interpreting information, Listening responsively, Matching, Responsibility, Sequencing, Teamwork

Program Components

The key learning objectives listed beside each activity state the skills and knowledge students will gain.

Session One: Robbie’s Trip to the Farm

Students are introduced to a storybook character and his visit to a family farm. Through a group discussion and drawing pictures of their favorite animals, they discover that individuals make choices.

Session Objectives:

  • Recognize the role of self
  • Appreciate individual choices

Session Two: Angie and the Carnival

Students are introduced to a storybook character and her plans to earn money by making and selling crafts at a carnival.

Session Objectives:

  • Define money
  • Identify one form of money: coins
  • Differentiate coins

Session Three: Charlie Plants a Garden

Students learn how the storybook characters work together to plant a community garden.

Session Objectives:

  • Recognize the importance of working together
  • Discover rewards other than money

Session Four: Megan Buys a Present

Students recognize the importance of saving money to buy something they want through a story about a girl who must save to buy a birthday present.

Session Objectives:

  • Discuss the importance of saving money
  • Identify a place where people save money
  • Demonstrate how to save money
  • Name something they would like to save for

Activity Five: Dylan and the New Playground

Students learn how the storybook characters save money to buy new playground equipment for their school.

Session Objectives:

  • Identify ways money can be used to benefit others
  • Recognize the value of work
  • Appreciate the importance of giving

All JA programs are designed to support the skills and competencies identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. These programs also augment school-based, work-based, and connecting activities for communities with school-to-work initiatives.

For additional information on this and all Junior Achievement programs, please visit