To begin this activity, collect a variety of catalogs. Students could also bring these from home if you are in a hurry and haven’t collected as many as you need. **Make sure you check out the catalog contents before using, and remove any pages with inappropriate items.
Explain to the students that they are going to do some Christmas shopping. Do the included problems I have for you with the whole class. You may want to go over adding and multiplying decimals before beginning this activity. The mini lesson to this would be to explain taxes on merchandise with the students, and shipping and handling charges.
Let students choose 1 catalog to do their “Christmas Catalog Shopping” in either a group or individually.
I usually pick several winners: it could be the group/student who spent the least amount of money, or the group/student who spent the closest to the target budget.
You set the target budget. For the examples I have included, I used $50. I also chose a $5.95 shipping charge for all examples. I would remind kids to look inside the catalogs for shipping costs. (They are usually found in the middle of the catalog). I also used 7% sales tax for my examples. Change it to whatever is used in your state.
For the first 5 problems, I left the bottom section blank for student answers. Answers to these 5 are at the bottom of this document.