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Making Money Decisions (ON)

Subject Area: Mathematics

Link to Ontario Mathematics Curriculum:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of addition and subtraction integers, and apply a variety of computational strategies to solve problems involving whole numbers and decimal numbers.
  • Read, interpret, and draw conclusions from primary data.
  • Research on real-world applications of probabilities expressed in fraction, decimal, and percent form.
  • Make inferences and convincing arguments that are based on the analysis of charts, tables, and graphs.
  • Perform a simple probability experiment.
Brief Overview of the Lesson:

The students will brainstorm the factors that influence people when making a decision. Then they will play a decision-making math game on the Internet. After playing this game, they will discuss the challenges and problems they experienced while playing the game. This will help them to see the importance of knowing all the factors that influence the decision making process.

Estimated Time Required for Implementation:

One class period

Materials Needed:

Computers, Internet access

Suggested Implementation Strategy:
  • Organize the class into groups and ask them to brainstorm and make a list of all the factors they would consider before making a decision about what kind of shoes to buy—take into consideration past experiences, biases, advertisements, cost, individual differences, personal preferences, and peer pressure, etc.
  • Take up their responses.
  • Ask the class what they would do if their decision turned out to be a bad one.
  • Ask them if they know what “opportunity cost” is. (When one choice is made, something else is not chosen. For example, if a person spends money to by “X” product, then they may not be able to buy “Z” product.
  • Ask students to form pairs and then tell them to access a game called “The Coffee Shop Money Game” on the Internet at: http://www.coolmath-games.com/0-coffee-shop/index.html
  • Tell them that they will choose a name for and set up their own shop. Students will have to identify the opportunity cost, make decisions, and make any necessary changes in order to make their business successful.
Options for Consideration:
  • Ask the class to discuss with their family members what factors are important to them to consider before making purchases.
Extended Learning Opportunities:
  • The students could research how much money is spent on advertising and how ads are developed to ensure successful marketing.