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Lesson: Understanding Budgeting Concerns


Understanding Budgeting Concerns


This lesson introduces students to the budgeting concerns that every media organization must consider, giving them a framework through which to understand what is necessary and optional for a publication as well as the pressures that advisers can feel when staffs do not understand monetary constraints


This single-day lesson begins with an introduction to budgeting and the factors that media organizations must consider when putting together a budget. The slideshow includes an introduction to sources of revenue (advertising, fundraising, sales, etc.) as well as types of expenditures (marketing materials, printing, contracting services, software, technology, recurring costs, etc.). Students will also examine a sample budget and complete a processing activity that requires them to consider several budgetary challenges based on the sample budget and prompts them to make decisions, weighing the costs and benefits of each decision as well as the opportunity costs of their decisions.


  • Students will explain how to make a budget and enumerate the factors that media organizations must consider when putting together a budget, including expenditures and sources of revenue.
  • Students will identify types of expenditures and sources of revenue for media organizations.
  • Students will be able to examine and interpret a sample budget.
  • Students will be able to weigh the possible costs, benefits and opportunity costs of financial decisions based on the sample budget.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.Math.Content.4.MD.A.2 Use the four operations to solve word problems involving distances, intervals of time, liquid volumes, masses of objects, and money, including problems involving simple fractions or decimals, and problems that require expressing measurements given in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit. Represent measurement quantities using diagrams such as number line diagrams that feature a measurement scale.

Partnerships for 21st Century Skills — Student Outcomes

Skills P21 outcomes
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Reason effectively
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Make judgments and decisions
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Solve problems
Creativity and Innovation Think creatively
Information Literacy Use and manage information


60-70 minutes


Slideshow: Understanding Budgeting Concerns Slideshow

Handout: Budgeting Concerns Notes

Handout: Examining a Budget

Handout: Budget Example Final

Lesson step-by-step

1. Handout distribution — 2 minutes

Distribute the Budgeting Notes to go with the slideshow.

2. Slideshow — 25-30 minutes

Show the Understanding Budgeting Concerns Slideshow presentation. Consider adding examples from your own publications experience to explain the possible expenditures and sources of revenue in a way that relates directly to the students.

3. Basic budget explanation — 5-10 minutes

Distribute the Sample Budget as well as the Budgeting Assignment and go through the Reading the Budget questions together, making sure every student understands the expenditures and sources of revenue available in the budget. This should take 5-10 minutes.

4. Individual or pair work — 30-40 minutes

Go to the Evaluating a Budget questions and complete the first one as a class, then allow students to complete the rest of the questions either alone or with a partner for the rest of class. Collect the assignment for a grade.