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Shopping Spree

Teacher Lesson


  • Applied Math


  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief Description

Students will go on a pretend shopping spree where they compute discounts and sales tax on chosen items.


  • figure discounts, sale price, sales tax, and final cost of items.
  • write checks for items bought.
  • write an expository paragraph explaining how to figure discounts and sales tax.


sales, tax, checkbook, discounts, consumer, percent

Materials Needed

  • magazines that contain items and prices in four different categories: clothing, electronics, sporting goods, and shoes
  • paper, pencils, calculator
  • worksheet containing columns with the following headings: Item Name, Item Cost, Discount (percentage off), Sale Price, Sales Tax (___percent), and Final Cost
  • copies of blank checks (four per student)

Lesson Plan

Set up four centers, or stores, within the classroom. Include a sporting goods store, a clothing store, a shoe store, and an electronics store.

Advance preparation: If you are working with younger students, each store might present a poster display of six or more items that would be sold in that type of store; for older students, you might simply display a circular from the Sunday newspaper that sells the appropriate category of items.

Establish a schedule so students will rotate to the each of the four "stores" during a class period. At each store, place a large discount rate sign. For example, all items in the clothing store might be on sale for 30 percent off the price in the store ad. All items in the sporting goods store might be on sale for 25 percent off the listed price.

Students choose a minimum of two items to "buy" at each store. They use paper and pencil (or calculators, if calculator use is a focus of your curriculum) to figure the sale price for each item, the sales tax on that item, and the final cost of each item. They record the information on their worksheet.

Students add totals at each store and write a check to each store. Then they add those four store totals together to get a final figure for the shopping spree.

Finally, students will write an expository paragraph explaining how to calculate discounts and sales tax.

Special Education Modifications: Assign a partner to each special student. Special students might complete one column at a time on the chart; it will be less confusing than doing all steps for one item at a time.


Teachers will check students work sheets and their expository paragraphs. They also will note via observation how well individual students work in a less-structured (center) environment.

Submitted By

Julie Graves, Centre Middle School in Centre, Alabama

Originally posted 12/05/2002
Last updated 02/13/2009

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