Planet Orange is a website developed by ING Direct for the purpose of helping elementary school students learn some basic money skills. Through a series of “missions” (games) to Planet Orange students gain or lose money. Students can design an avatar to represent themselves on their missions. The students gain invest or spend the money they gain to match their budgets and reach their goals.
Planet Orange offers teachers a series of lesson plans for students in grades K-7. The lessons are designed around student play in the Planet Orange environment. The highlight of the teacher section are two 65+ page activity books. The activity books include materials for pre-teaching important money-related vocabulary prior to having students go on Planet Orange missions. The activity books also include worksheets and lessons to build upon the student missions in Planet Orange.
To use Planet Orange kids have to enter a parent’s email address so to use it in your classroom you will have to contact parents. That could be a good way to communicate with parents about what’s going on in your classroom. In the event that you can’t get students online to use Planet Orange, some of the lessons in the activity books could be used effectively without going online.