• Heather

How To Teach: Online Banking & Using an ATM Skills

Importance of Online Banking and ATM

When was the last time you balanced your bank account using a check register? Yeah, I thought so! Online banking is now available through most banks and can eliminate a whole list of challenging tasks for our students, like completing check registers! No more writing really small, knowing what column to put an amount in, putting the numbers in the write sections, and then doing the math exactly. Yay for online banking and ATMs!



Focus Skills

-What is an ATM

-How to follow the steps in an ATM

-What is a deposit, withdraw, account balance

-What online banking is

-How to log on

-Features available with online banking



Why Focus On These Skills

Online banking does the math FOR us, what is there not to love? If you can log in and find what you need then you can keep tabs on your bank accounts. If completing banking slips to deposit and withdraw money is challenging (more small boxes and long numbers), then use an ATM where the questions are predictable, there is no personal interaction, and most are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.



When To Teach

For me, it isn’t about WHEN I teach online banking and ATM skills, it’s that I continuously spiral back to using the ATM and logging into the bank account on a weekly basis to keep the skill strong. Teaching online banking and ATM skills when you cover other money skills, like budgets and paying with cash and debit cards, is ideal so students have context to a more abstract concept.


I’ve created a complete lesson unit of materials for teaching this topic. The materials are comprehensive (5 full lessons) and most appropriate for life skill lessons at the middle school, high school and transition level students. Below are some lesson unit highlights!


Lesson Objective

Students will increase familiarity with online banking formats and basic steps to achieve the goal of checking a balance.

Students will increase familiarity with using an ATM to achieve the goal of checking a balance, withdrawing cash, or making a deposit.


Lesson Vocabulary

Account, ATM, balance, deposit, insert, log in, PIN, receipt, transaction, withdraw


Resource Perks

  • Pre and Post assessment

  • 1 page narrative explaining the skill with and without visual text supports (to incorporate functional reading)

  • 5 skill practice activities to learn and/or reinforce the focus skills

  • Game for students to practice their skills (because learning is fun)

  • Boom Cards for practice or assessment

  • Student learning reflection worksheet (thumbs up or down)

  • Encouraging on-topic quotes (use as a classroom poster or starter for each class period)

  • 5 strategies for success (tips for being successful with the focus skills)

  • Coloring page with on-topic graphics

  • Skill mastery certificate for positive recognition and reinforcement

  • Data collection sheet on specific focus skills

  • Homework sheet to encourage students to practice the skill outside of the school setting

  • Word search of key vocabulary terms

  • Visuals for focus skills with age appropriate colors and graphics



Ultimate Goal

If students can enter their PIN at the ATM, then they can enter it to make a purchase- SUCCESS! If students can log in to their online bank account, then they can get access to the information they need- SUCCESS. Set the ultimate goal of being able to get into the accounts in order to make everything else accessible.


Links to Curriculum


Online Banking & ATM Lesson Unit


Paying with Money (Debit Card and Cash) Lesson Unit


Counting Money Lesson Unit


Budget Money Lesson Unit


Money Skills Lesson Unit Bundle


Life Skills Curriculum Bundle





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