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I Need a Dollar

Lesson Title: "Financial Resilience Through Music: Analyzing Aloe Blacc's 'I Need a Dollar'"

Grade Level: High School

Objective: Students will analyze the lyrics of Aloe Blacc's song "I Need a Dollar" to explore themes of financial struggles, resilience, and the importance of financial literacy. By integrating the C Palms financial literacy standards and Florida's Sunshine State financial literacy standards, students will engage in discussions, activities, and reflections to enhance their understanding of these concepts.

Duration: 3 class periods (45-60 minutes each)


Printed lyrics of the song "I Need a Dollar" by Aloe Blacc

Projector or whiteboard

Handouts for activities

Computers or tablets for research (optional)

Copies of the C Palms financial literacy standards

Copies of the Florida Sunshine State financial literacy standards

Lesson Plan:

Day 1: Exploring Financial Struggles and Resilience

Introduction (10 minutes): Begin by discussing the importance of understanding financial struggles and the ability to overcome challenges. Introduce the song lyrics as a medium to explore these themes.

Lyric Analysis (25 minutes): Provide students with printed lyrics or display them on a projector. Play the song while students follow along with the lyrics. After the song, initiate a class discussion:

Ask students to identify lines that emphasize financial difficulties and challenges.

Discuss how the lyrics convey a sense of resilience and determination.

Small Group Discussion (15 minutes): Divide students into small groups and assign each group specific lyrics to analyze. Have them discuss how these lyrics reflect the artist's attitude toward adversity and financial struggles.

Group Presentations (15 minutes): Have each group present their analysis, focusing on the resilience displayed in the lyrics.

Day 2: Applying Financial Literacy Standards

Recap (10 minutes): Review the concepts discussed in the previous lesson, particularly the themes of financial struggles and resilience.

Discussion: Financial Literacy and Planning (20 minutes): Introduce the concept of financial literacy and its role in managing and overcoming financial challenges. Relate the song's message to the importance of planning and financial education.

Activity: Financial Literacy Standards Exploration (25 minutes): Provide students with copies of the C Palms financial literacy standards and the Florida Sunshine State financial literacy standards. Ask them to identify and discuss the standards that align with the concepts highlighted in the song.

Day 3: Reflection and Real-World Applications

Recap (10 minutes): Briefly review the financial literacy standards explored in the previous lesson.

Discussion: Real-World Applications (20 minutes): Lead a discussion about how understanding financial struggles, resilience, and financial literacy can impact students' lives. Encourage students to share examples of individuals who have overcome challenges through financial education.

Activity: Personal Finance Reflection (25 minutes): Ask students to reflect individually on the following questions:

How can the lessons from the song be applied to your own financial decisions and challenges?

What steps can you take to improve your financial literacy and resilience?


Participation in class discussions, group activities, and presentations.

Quality of small group analysis and presentations.

Thoughtfulness and depth of personal finance reflections.

Identification and discussion of relevant financial literacy standards.

Grading Rubric:

Criteria Excellent Good Satisfactory Needs Improvement

Participation and Engagement 5 4 3 2

Small Group Analysis and Present. 5 4 3 2

Personal Finance Reflection 5 4 3 2

Standard Alignment Discussion 5 4 3 2

Homework (Optional): Assign students to research and present real-life examples of individuals or organizations that offer financial education and support to those facing economic challenges.

Extension (Optional): Explore other songs or pieces of media that convey messages related to financial struggles, resilience, or empowerment. Compare and contrast these messages with those in "I Need a Dollar."


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