Here’s a fun activity I do with 4th graders but it can be adapted for third graders. Students order menu items for their family members. I wouldn’t have the 3rd graders figure out the tip unless you want to offer the high achievers a challenge. It’s also a little difficult for 4th graders but I find it’s a teachable moment, so I help them figure it out using number sense (10% + 5%). If you like, you can simply skip the tip part.
In advance: Collect real restaurant menus. That’s what makes this lesson so much fun. You’re using real menus from real restaurants. But collect the take-out menus because they’re free! I have about 6-8 menu choices of places I know kids like to eat.
Since not all menus have drinks listed, I write on the board:
soda (free refills) $2.50
iced tea/lemonade $2.50
And, uh, no alcoholic drinks for mom or dad. :-)
You’ll need to stay on top of the voice level. Kids LOVE this activity and they tend to get pretty excited...and that's a good thing when it comes to doing math!
If you try this in your classroom, I'd love to know how it goes. firstname.lastname@example.org