Let's admit it, even the least materialistic of us spend some time shopping in this consumer driven world! This math inquiry project connects real life (shopping) to math instruction to answer the all too common student question of, "How does this connect to my life?" In this math enrichment, students will start off by activating their schema and understanding of money by estimating how much they could purchase if given a thousand dollars. Using a teacher-created "mall" (Think lots and lots of catalogues, the students then check their predictions by going "shopping", carefully calculating the use of their money, summing up total costs of purchases, including sales tax, refunding returned items, and doing all the things that real shoppers do! A little bit of character education is brought into the project with the stipulation that 9/10 of the shopping must be for others, not the self! Students are asked to spend time thinking about the important people in their lives and the gifts would bring them happiness. Students are held accountable for calculations with "Order Sheets", where all transactions must be recorded for teacher assessment. Following their shopping excursions, the students will complete a reflection to assess their conceptual understanding of money. They will explore how their actual purchasing power matched up to their original wish lists.
Students will gain authentic real world skills by shopping til' they drop! This project has plenty of room for differentiation, modifications, and teacher customization. All paperwork is included with this file. The only thing you need to provide is your own personal flair, and the mall stores (catalogues)!
Thousand Dollar Inquiry Project by Robyn Rimler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License