The euro (or EUR) entered circulation on January 1, 2002 and is the official currency of some, but not all European Union countries. The seventeen countries that use the euro are known as the eurozone: Austria, Belgium, Cypress, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. Since 2009, the euro has been making headlines because of the European debt crisis.
What fun! These printable euro banknotes come in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros. There is even a printable set of coins that includes 1 cent, 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent, 1 euro and 5 euro coins. This page also includes US funny money (banknotes and coins), along with printable English sterling coins.
For high school students and grownups, CNN presents a roundup of news articles about the euro's current crisis. Some pundits are forecasting the breakup of the European currency union, meaning that eurozone countries will once again begin printing and circulating their own national currency. Others say that the euro is here to stay, and that the crisis will pass with the euro in tact.
For elementary and middle-school, Euro Kids' Corner is chock full of euro-themed games, a leaderboard listing the top ten players, and a lesson covering the history of European money and the euro. "In the past, the countries in the European Union made several attempts to move towards economic union and a single currency. However, it was not until 1991, in the city of Maastricht in the Netherlands, that European leaders decided upon a firm timetable to adopt a single currency."
Euro School is a collection of educational games and interactive exhibits about euro banknotes and coins. I enjoyed Find the Security Features ("Can you spot the difference between a fake banknote and a real one?") and Where's the Coin From? ("Each country has its own euro coins. Match the coin to the country by clicking on the correct country or flag.") The Interactive Display of Security Features is another great click for learning about watermarks, holograms and microprinting.
"The euro symbol was inspired by the Greek letter epsilon, reflecting the cradle of European civilization. E is of course the first letter of the word Europe. The two strong parallel horizontal lines are intended to symbolize the stability of the currency." This fifty-page PDF from the European Central Bank tells the history of the euro from the early 1990's to release in 2002. It includes pictures of some the currencies it replaced, and a chapter on the design of the euro banknotes.