Imagine that paper money, electronic payments, and credit and debit cards disappeared tomorrow. In this alternate reality, the only way to pay for things would be by using small metal coins.
How would this change affect you, your family, and your friends?
- Take a few minutes to reflect on how life would be different if you could use only coins to make purchases.
- How would you feel? Do you think the transition would be easy?
- Do you think using only coins to pay for things would be an impossible task? What would be the biggest challenges for you and your family?
- Would there be any advantages to this old style of payment?
- Write a paragraph describing how this change would affect your life.
- Share your paragraph with a partner. Reflect and discuss together:
- In what ways would you and your community be worse off with only the use of coins?
- Would you want to live this way for a day, a month, or even a year?
- Do you think it is possible or desirable for your town or city to flourish without the use of paper money?
- Today you will learn about the origin of paper money in China. Before we begin, answer these questions:
- Why do you think paper money was invented in the first place? What were the advantages of paper money over the types of money used previously?
- What technology do you think had to be developed in order for paper money to be introduced?
- Make a prediction: Do you think paper money originated with a central government or as an innovation of private businesspeople?