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Leading adult education through support for and the effective application of technology. What Does Forty Dollars Buy? Quiz

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

More Ways

Computer(s), Internet access, projector, speakers and/or headphones

Activity Description

In this activity, student watch a video in which people discuss what $40 means to them and answer comprehension questions.


  1. This video and quiz should be part of a unit on finances/budgeting/financial literacy. Students should be familiar with different types of taxes (state, local, federal, etc) as well.
  2. This video comes from YouTube, so be sure to test it at your school well before class, as many schools block YouTube videos.
  3. In order get students to the YouTube video to watch on their own (Step 3 below), you can bookmark the site on each computer browser, e-mail them the link, e-mail a word processing document with the link in it, or post the link on your class Web page.


  1. Start by asking your students to raise their hands if they have a job. Ask them how often they are paid. Write $40 on the board. Lead a brief discussion about what it would be like for them to have $40 less per paycheck. How would this affect them? Tell them that this was the question that President Barack Obama asked citizens in December of 2011. Their responses helped make the payroll tax cut happen. This video, from the White House YouTube channel, was posted on December 23, 2011.
  2. Show the video found at the Example Web Site link (above) using the projector. Have students listen for what the people buy with the $40 they currently receive in their paychecks. After the video, have the students identify what they heard. Some possible answers include: gas, a bill, food, school supplies (pens, paper), fresh produce, a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, a pound of cheese, deli meat.
  3. Direct students to the Example Web Site and have them watch the video 2-3 more times at their computers (with headsets), answer the comprehension questions (on the right), and select the "See how you did" button.
  4. Review the questions and answers with the class.

Teacher Tips

  • As with many sites of this type, there are MANY ads. Be sure to teach your students what they look like and how to avoid clicking on these ads, which could pose "issues" they would rather not deal with.

More Ways

  • Search the site for videos/quizzes developed by other ESL teachers that are appropriate for your class by selecting the Quizzes tab at the top of the page and then selecting an appropriate level in the navigation tabs below it.
  • Use to create your own online quizzes using videos from any video hosting Web site (YouTube, TeacherTube, your local news station's Web site, etc.). To create your own quizzes:
    1. Register for a free ESLVideo account by selecting the Register button/tab.
    2. Follow these directions  to create an online quiz.


  • Intermediate Low
  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced


Basic Communication

  • (1.5) Understand how to manage household finances

Basic Communication

  • (2.7) Understand aspects of society and culture

Basic Communication

  • (5.8) Understand concepts of economics
  • (5.4) Understand information about taxes and fees
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.