Grade: Middle
Subject: Mathematics

#2631. Shopping for Sales

Mathematics, level: Middle
Posted Thu Jul 25 14:38:05 PDT 2002 by Deyce Robbins (
Oak Canyon Jr High , Lindon, Utah
Materials Required: enough shopping catalogs for of class, worksheet (below), pencils, calculators
Activity Time: 45 min- 1 1/2 hours
Concepts Taught: Percent of a number, finding sale prices

For the catalogs I called the local JC Penney store, and they were able to give me 17 old catalogs. Try calling after Christmas. Don't forget to tear out the lingerie section before doing this activity.

This activity is designed as a follow-up to a lesson on finding the percent of a number. I put students in groups of two and gave each group a catalog and a worksheet. Their instructions are to shop through the catalog and find items that they want to buy for the given situation. They are asked to list the regular price of each item. They must then calculate the discount and the sale price of each item. They are asked to buy as much as they can without spending more than the allotted amount of money. My pre-algebra students really got excited about this activity!

Other suggestions:
Have a contest to see who can spend closest to the allotted amount of money.

Add a column for the students to figure the sales tax of each item.

Add a place for students to figure the shipping and handling cost of their orders.

Do not allow calculators and have students practice their estimation skills.

Do this activity before Christmas. Then have a small fund-raiser and actually buy gifts for a needy family.

It would be pretty difficult to go through and check every single answer the students gave, but you may want to spot-check the worksheets by checking one item from each problem. You could also have each group check another group's paper.
Shopping & Sale Prices
Names _________________________________________________ Period ________

1. You have $200 and you are Christmas shopping for your 8 year old brother. All clothing is 30% off and all toys are 20% off. What will you buy?

item pg. # original price discount sale price

Total $ spent: ____________

2. You are shopping for yourself, and you have a $200 limit. Everything in the catalog is 25% off. What would you buy?

item pg. # original price discount sale price

Total $ spent: ____________

3. You are surprising a needy family for Christmas and have $1000 to spend. You need presents for the mom, the dad, the 4 year-old girl and the 10 year-old boy. Everything is 10% off. What would you buy?

item pg. # original price discount sale price

Total $ spent: ____________