This project is a culminating task for a unit on rational number operations. It is differentiated into three levels: low (moon), middle (stars) and high (sun).
In part one of the project, students are told about their new "job" and salary. They have to work together to choose an apartment, a health insurance plan, a phone bill, etc.
In part two, students read an account of the events of weeks one - four. They use the tables provided to balance their checkbook after each increase or decrease.
In part three, students reflect on their budget, the importance of making a budget, and lessons learned for their financial futures.
The project is great because it gets students thinking critically about math in the real world. It also requires them to read word problems and interpret them as number sentences, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of rational numbers.