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Comparison Shopping (AB)

Subject Area: Mathematics

Link(s) to Alberta Mathematics Curriculum Outcomes:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of decimals to solve problems (for more than 1-digit divisors or 2-digit multipliers, the use of technology is expected) [ME, PS, T]
  • Demonstrate an understanding of percents greater than or equal to 0%, including greater than 100% [CN, PS, R, V]
  • Develop and apply a formula for determining the area of parallelograms [CN, PS, R, V]
Brief Overview of the Lesson:

Students will see the values in comparison shopping to find the best prices and save money. Students will understand how to make metric conversions.

Estimated Time Required for Implementation:

One class period

Materials Needed:

Copies of the Carpet Ads provided.

Suggested Implementation Strategy:
  • Review previous knowledge of metric conversions briefly by doing a few sample conversion questions together.
  • Explain to the class that most people who live in Canada have to pay a sales tax on their purchases.
  • Tell the class that they are lucky to live in Alberta because they do not pay sales tax, but for today they are to assume that they live in a province that does have a sales tax.
  • Explain the following scenario to the class.

Sam wants to buy new carpet for his bedroom. His parents told him that the budget for new carpeting is $300.00 and if he can find a carpet within the budget, he can buy it. His bedroom measurement is 250 cm wide by 300 cm. long. He will have to do some comparison shopping to find the best price and if he can stay within the family budget.

  • Put the students in pairs and hand out a copy of the sales ads provided.
  • Ask the class to predict which ad has the best price.
  • Assuming the carpeting is the same quality, their task is to calculate how many meters of carpet he needs, and the cost of carpeting at each store.
  • End the class with a discussion by asking:
    • Which company had the best price?
    • Are there any statements in the ads that were misleading? e.g., free installation and no tax seemed a better price.
    • Can John buy new carpet and where should he buy it?
  • Ask the students what they learned about comparison shopping.
Options for Consideration:
  • Discuss how this activity may affect any future purchases they may make.
Extended Learning Opportunities:
  • Ask the students to go home and discuss with their parents if they do comparison shopping and if it has saved them money.