Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Bargain Hunter

Kelly Allen


Students will engage in a classroom shopping adventure to search for the best bargains.


The student explains and demonstrates the multiplication and division of whole numbers using manipulatives, drawings, and algorithms.

The student uses problem-solving strategies to determine the operation(s) needed to solve one- and two-step problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers, and addition and subtraction of decimals and fractions.

The student solves real-world problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers, and addition and subtraction of decimals and fractions using an appropriate method (for example, mental math, pencil and paper, calculator).


-Items to be purchased (parents can send these in)
-Cardstock and a marker
-Copy of file attachment (one for each student)
-Clipboards, pencils, and paper for students
-Tablet paper displaying the items and individual prices


1. Have the parents send in the following items: ( bag of chips, package of Koolaid, package of noodles, package of rice, 1 can of soup, 1 can of beans, 1 can of corn, 1 dozen egg carton (empty), empty milk gallon jug, empty half gallon milk jug, 1 bar of soap (or box), 1 tube of toothpaste (box only) , 1 cereal box, 1 box of crackers, 1 container of coffee (empty), 1 empty bottle of shampoo.

2. On tablet paper, write down the individual prices of the items:
chips-$1.29 koolaide-$.39
noodles- $ 1.89 rice- $.89
soup- $.79 beans- $.69
corn- $.89 dozen eggs- $1.18
gallon of milk- $2.79 (half a gallon $1.30)
bar of soap-$.99 tooth paste-$ 1.49
cereal-$3.69 crackers-$ 1.19
coffee-$ 3.69 shampoo-$ 1.69

3. On cardstock, make signs (or advertisements) to stand up in front of the items that will be set up in the shopping areas:

chips- 3 for $3.50
koolaide- 5 for $1.95
noodles- 2 for $3.80
rice- 3 for $2.67
soup- 4 for $3.00
beans-4 for $2.75
corn- 5 for $5.00
eggs- 2 dozen for $2.00
2 half gallons of milk for $2.60 or a gallon for $2.79
soap- 3 for $2.95
toothpaste- 3 for $4.75
cereal- 3 for $11.07
crackers-2 for $2.40
coffee- 2 for $3.69
shampoo- 2 for $3.38

4. Run off enough copies of the Bargain Hunter worksheet for every student.

5. Gather calculators for each student.

6. Set up four areas around the room with the items and advertisements displayed.

7. You should work through the worksheet before giving it to the students. This will prepare you to better answer any questions that students might ask during the lesson.


1. Begin by describing to the students a time when you were ripped off when you went to the grocery store because you believed every advertisement was a bargain. After sharing your personal experience, discuss with the students why it is important to use math skills in every day life. Also discuss how advertisements are used in the market place. Sometimes they are used to offer the consumer a lower price, but sometimes they advertise items and prices that aren't really a bargain. They sometimes try to trick the consumer into buying more of a certain item so they can get rid of it.

2. On the board or overhead, show the students some examples of advertisements that they might see in the store. Model for them how you would determine if the advertisement was a bargain, a rip off, or neither. (For example: 1 loaf of bread costs $1.29, but it is advertised for 2 for $2.30- Would it be cheaper to buy one or two? How could this be considered to be a bargain?) Show a few examples of each (bargain, rip off, and neither). Be sure to show your work.

3. Pass out the Bargain Hunter worksheet and calculators and go over each part so that the students understand what they are going to be doing. Display the list of the individual prices of the items on tablet paper and go over the items and the costs. Make sure they understand that this is how much ONE item would cost. They will be referring back to this list throughout the shopping trip. Then divide the students into four groups and send them to one of the four areas of the classroom that have been set up with items and advertisements. After 10-15 minutes, have the groups rotate to the next area. Repeat the rotations until every group has visited every area. (Extra time may be needed.)

4. Have the students come back to their desks and allow them time to answer and explain any of the questions that they have not yet completed on the worksheet.

5. When the students have completed their sheets, have them put away their pencils and discuss what happened when they went shopping. You may choose to go over the entire worksheet if time allows. Ask the students what they learned about advertisements and bargain hunting. Take up the worksheets and grade them. You can wait until they are graded to go over each problem if you prefer.


Assessment will invovle going over the attached worksheet and observing the students as they complete their work. The completed worksheet will show their understanding of the standards taught during the lesson.


This activity can be extended by having students research various prices from store to store with a given budget in order to find the most economical place to shop. This project can be extended over a period of time. Graphs can be made to chart the results.
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