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Here is a math problem solving lesson involving shopping




1, 2, 3, 4, 5  

Lydia Burch

Math lesson plan

Topic: Problem Solving

Grade level: 1 – 5


Let’s Go Shopping!

The students will create a list of clothing that is necessary to buy in order to be fully dressed. They will be calculating how much they spend, staying at or below the designated amount. The students will also calculate how much change they should receive if any. By doing these things, the students will actively be involved in problem solving, decision making, and use of mathematical concepts.

Anticipatory Set:

Teacher could wear old clothes, or clothes that are much too big or small, or simply state that it is time to buy new clothing. Start by asking a question such as “If I am going shopping, what things do you think are necessary for me to buy?”

Concept development /activity: To be done in groups

1. Organize students into groups if not already done.

2. For each group, a list of items of clothing with prices should be on the table.

3. Teacher should set a total price limit for the shopping spree and write it so that it may be seen be everyone.

4. Each group should be given paper money divided into 1s, 5s, 10s, and 20s totaling the set price limit.

5. In each group, one person should be the designated cashier who also has paper money in order to give change.

6. Students will collaborate a list of clothing that they wish to purchase, total cost, and amount of change if any.

7. The cashier will check the work, agree or disagree, give the change, or talk about where mistakes may have been made.


Students should be allowed to take turns being the cashier, and being in the group that collaborates the list of clothing. The teacher should offer different lists with different items, prices, etc., so that each experience is new.


Allow students to share the different things that they bought, how much they spent, how much change they received, etc.

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