The resource Learning About Banknotes is divided into two sections addressing Australian Curriculum: History and Mathematics. It provides interactive tasks and SMART Notebook activities for Year 2 Mathematics and Years 2 and 3 History.

The opening page of each section links to four student activities with graphics, text, and audio. However, students will require teacher support.

Mathematics learning activities

The Mathematics learning activities relate to the ‘Number and Algebra’ area of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics.

Activity 1: A land without money

This activity helps students to understand that we have not always had money in Australia and why we might need it.

Activity 2: Early Australian money

This activity is a simplified introduction to the development of banknotes and coins in Australia.

Activity 3: About Australian banknotes

Students discuss the need for banknotes in Australia and identify their features and value.

Activity 4: Helping Casey with banknotes

Mathematic concepts relating to money and more specifically banknotes developed in this activity are:

  • counting
  • exchanging dollar coins for banknotes
  • grouping banknotes for specific denominations
  • dividing sums of money.

History learning activities

The History learning activities relate to Historical Knowledge and Understanding and the Historical Skills areas of the Australian Curriculum: History

Activity 1: Our Australian banknotes

Students identify Australian banknote features and complete Australian banknote jigsaw puzzles.

Activity 2: Noteworthy people

In groups, students research one of the noteworthy people featured on Australian banknotes and test their knowledge of the banknotes through participation in interactive activities.

Activity 3: People in your community

Year 2

Students identify and research noteworthy people from the past who have contributed to their community. Students work in groups to research one of these people.

Year 3

Students identify sites that have been named after people who played an important role in the students' local community. Each student researches one of these people and their contribution to the community.

Activity 4: Design a banknote

Students design banknotes featuring the person they researched. Their designs will reflect their learning about Australian banknote features.

Comprehensive teaching notes accompany each section

The teaching notes for the two sections support the teaching of specific curriculum content through:

  • identification of Australian Curriculum content descriptions and elaborations, and general capabilities addressed in the resource
  • provision of possible learning sequences including activities to use before, during and after the resource activities
  • suggestions for on-line and off-line activities.

Presentations to teachers and students

Museum activities

The Reserve Bank of Australia has a Currency Museum that can be a fun and engaging excursion for students. Possible primary school programs include:

  • presentation on Australian banknotes, including how banknotes are produced and their security features – this presentation is tailored for the students' year level and topics of interest
  • tour of the Reserve Bank's Museum of Australian Currency Notes . School children can take part in a Treasure Hunt as part of the tour.

It is important to discuss arrangements with us well in advance of any proposed visits as group numbers and available presentation times are limited. Group visits can be arranged by contacting (02) 9551 9743 or email the museum.

If you are unable to visit the museum in person, a virtual tour is also available via the Museum's website .

Class visits

The Reserve Bank can also offer classroom visits and video conferences, which include a presentation about Australia's banknotes to groups that are interested in learning more about Australia's banknotes. For more information contact 1800 633 220 or email banknotes@rba.gov.au.