I designed this project for my Algebra 1 classes and loved the enthusiasm with which students of all levels received it. My students often put way more effort and creativity into projects than they ever did into their homework (!), and they had a lot of fun with this one since it provided an open-ended, authentic context for applying what they had just learned.
To create this marketing plan, students will work in groups (or alone) to come up with a product they want to sell, then figure out marketing details such as the cost of producing the product, where they want to sell it, and what price they will charge. They will turn this information into equations, tables, and graphs, then answer questions regarding the break-even point and how much they will need to sell in order to earn a desired profit. I have provided a completed sample project as a guide.
This project provides a close-to-real-life context for many skills they learn in Algebra 1, tying together several loose ends and providing students a chance to expand on their understanding of linear equations.
I have designed this project with differentiation built into the framework of the activities. Students can go all-out on their choice of product and choose to create a hand-made item that will require purchasing several raw materials then calculate labor time and overhead costs into the full cost of the making the product, or they can simply come up with a product to sell that they will buy at wholesale prices and re-sell at a higher price point. They are given the opportunity to consider how they want to sell their product: at a farmer’s market, a fair, a brick-and-mortar store, online, etc. I gave my students the freedom to either research all of this and come up with reasonable price points or just guess what these would cost. I didn’t want students to get so lost in the details of marketing that they missed the point of solving a system of equations, so I let them choose any numbers that seemed reasonable; you can decide how to handle that based on the abilities of your students. You may want to give students the chance to choose how they want to approach each stage of this project so they can enter at a level that suits their ability.
This would work great as an end-of-unit project on linear equations, as an extension project for extra credit, or as a guided group project in a remediation class.
The Algebra topics addressed in this project include:
Writing equations based on “real-life” scenarios
Defining a reasonable domain and range
Making input-output tables from the equations
Creating a graph (labeling and scaling axes to fit the data — or you could provide this for them to keep it simple)
Finding and understanding the point of intersection in the context of the project
It also provides exposure to some basic marketing skills (they can make of this what they want; some students will glaze over this while others will dive in deep and do some amazing work!):
Keywords and SEO
Logos and branding
Understanding some of the details that go into marketing and selling a product
Designing sales that help attract customers while still boosting overall profit
Working as a team!
I hope your students enjoy working on this project! Let me know if you have any questions or think of any ways this could be improved. Thank you for your support!