Students put together a holiday catalogue of gifts that they would like to purchase for family members and friends. Please see below for student directions and project goals.
Can you believe the holiday vacation is right around the corner? This year, you are going to be in charge of buying gifts for your family members! Did you overhear your mom say she really wanted a new kitchen doo-dad? How about your dad talking about that new power tool? It is your responsibility to not only purchase these gifts, but purchase the RIGHT gift for the RIGHT person! Are you up for the challenge?
Directions: You are responsible for purchasing presents for your mom, dad, sibling(s)/cousin, one friend that you do not go to school with, your grandparent(s), any aunts/uncles, and your pet (if you have one). Every family is different, so you get to choose the people that are important to you. However, you must buy presents for a minimum of 6 people.
You will be given $100 to start your holiday shopping. That may seem like a lot, but holiday gifts are expensive! You must spend a minimum of $50 per person/pet. As you may have noticed, $100 will definitely not be enough to cover everyone on your list. You will need to earn money in order to buy the gifts you want. You will be given the option to earn Math Money by completing math exercises. Each activity will have a different value assigned by the teacher. You can keep track of how much money you’ve earned and spent by filling out your Math Money Log.
As you can see, this project can really be used across grade levels and math content areas. Math Money pages can span any skill from addition to long division. Students can also earn Math Money during any classroom activity, such as centers or seat work. In this way, you can easily integrate the project into your classroom routine. Here are some of the goals of the project:
Thematic - In the time leading up to the Christmas/holiday vacation, excitement is running high. It can be difficult for some students to attend to tasks when all they want to do is talk and think about their upcoming vacation. This project brings the holiday season and the excitement that surrounds it into a very important content area.
Real-world application - This project has many real-world applications. It incorporates skills related to working with money and budgeting. These are tangible and practical life skills that the students need to master. Having the students practice these skills through the lens of holiday shopping makes the topic approachable and realistic, especially for students who struggle with math concepts and/or understanding how the concepts apply to them.
Mindfulness - One of the most important aspects of the holiday season that we try to teach children is that it is a time of giving. This is a challenging lesson for young children who delight in receiving presents, but aren't in the position to reciprocate in the same way. What better way to make this real-world lesson tangible than by having students put themselves in the shoes of the gift giver? Not only must students choose gifts for others, but they must be thoughtful in their choices by recording why they chose a specific gift for someone. One year I had a student select a suitcase set for his mom since she loves to travel and make memories with her family. This type of thoughtfulness fosters mindful children.
As always, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to reach out in my store or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.