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Comparison Shopping (BC)

Subject Area: Mathematics

Getting Started:

Links to the British Columbia Mathematics Curriculum:

  • A2 – demonstrate an understanding of the addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of decimals (for more than 1-digit divisors or 2-digit multipliers, the use of technology is expected) to solve problems
  • A3 – solve problems involving percents from 1% to 100%

Links to the New Learning Standards:

  • Develop, construct, and apply mathematical understanding through play, inquiry, and problem solving
  • Engage in problem-solving experiences that are connected to place, story, and cultural practices relevant to the local community community

Learning Goals:

  • Students will see the values in comparison shopping to find the best prices and save money.


  • Students understanding of how to make metric conversions.

Materials Needed:

  • Copies of the carpet ads provided.
Learning Activity:

Introduction to Lesson:

  • Review previous knowledge of metric conversions briefly by doing a few sample conversion questions together


  • Explain to the class the following scenario.

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 to each pair.

  • Ask the class to predict which ad has the best price.
  • Assuming all the carpeting is the same quality, their task is to figure out how many meters of carpet he needs, and the cost of carpeting at each store.

Consolidation of Learning:

  • 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 like a better price.
    • Can John buy new carpet and where should he buy it?
    • Ask the students what they learned about the value of comparison shopping.
Evaluating Success:

Success Criteria:

  • Discuss how this activity may affect any future purchases they may make.

Confirming Activity:

  • Ask the students to go home and discuss with their parents if they do comparison shopping and if it has saved them money.