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Writing and Math with Shopping Lists
|Grades||K – 2|
|Activity Time||30–45 minutes plus time for shopping|
- Grocery list
- Grocery store ads
- Money for the store
- Talk about and brainstorm some reasons why people make grocery lists. Such a list might include:
- To replace some of the items you are almost out of and know you will soon need.
- To get supplies you need to make meals for your family.
- To get items you don't have, but need.
- To get what you need for a party or special event.
- Share a grocery list so children can see what they look like. Discuss why certain items are on the list.
- Talk about the cost of items and how to stay within a budget. It is important to know about how much the items will cost so you take the right amount of money with you to the store. If using a credit or debit card or writing a check, explain that the store takes the money from your account at the bank.
- Have children look at ads from grocery stores and see how items and prices are displayed in the ads. Older children may want to compare prices from different stores.
- Using the ads, ask the child to help create a shopping list using a set budget-a given amount of money. You can use this time to talk about wants versus needs-what do you need from the store? What are some things you just want to have? Should you buy the things you need or the things you want first?
- Work together to write out a grocery list. The list should include the name of the item as well as the price.
- Children can create their lists in a variety of ways. They can use a mixture of drawings and words to make their lists. If using print ads, students can cut out the items and their prices and create their lists that way.
- Younger children might need to work with whole numbers. Older children can add and subtract to make sure they stay within the money limit. They can also use a calculator to help with the math.
- Have children look at how their lists compare to their budgets. If the items on their lists exceed their set budget, what can they do? Should they spend leftover money or save it until next time?
- If there is nothing that they want or need in the ads, visit the store and find prices for desired items. If there are things they want at the store but they aren't there, have them problem-solve-can it wait until the next trip to the store? Should they try another store?
- Once the lists are complete, children may then go to the store with an adult, buy items using their lists, and help to pay for them.
- Allow time for the best part: eating the purchases and celebrating the activity!
- Welcome to Market Student Interactive: This site provides a good game for children who are learning the value of coins and are learning to count small amounts of change.
- Read some books about going to the store and shopping.