I am a big fan of having my students do activities that will help them in real life. One of my favorite activities is to have them plan a Thanksgiving meal. First we sit down and make a list of things their families have on Thanksgiving. This is always an eye opener! This year turkey and ham were the stars but several also mentioned meatballs and hamburger casserole. We then talked about how the meal wasn't what was important but being together was.
Next up was to talk about what you might need to make certain items. A favorite item was green bean casserole. I went over that you needed green beans, cream of mushroom soup, milk, and french fried onions. I was amazed at how many must help cook because I had several volunteer what they thought went in it. They were pretty accurate. We talked about you might need eggs and milk to help prepare many items.
I then passed out a grocery ad from a local grocery store. (Go there they last night of their ad and ask to have enough for your class.) I showed them what the ad was all about. We talked about how big a turkey you might want and how to figure out the cost. We did the same thing for a ham. After that they went to their seat to make a list of items they wanted at their Thanksgiving dinner. When they finished with that they needed to go through the grocery ad and find how much each item would cost. I told them they had $125 to spend on dinner. When I gave them that amount we talked about how special dinners cost more money than you normally spend at the store. The big question was whether they could go over the $125 or not! We then talked about what happens if you don't have enough money when your groceries get rung up. Most all knew that you have to put something back.
Boy howdy did they go to town! They loved this activity. The math teacher came in and asked what we were doing. She commented on how loud it was but that everything they were talking about was related to the activity. They helped each other find items in the ad and discussed what they might need to make an item. Several asked what to do it they had extra money. I was surprised by how many wanted to buy flowers to put on the table. :) It is those little touches that make a meal!
When they finished they had to add it all up to make sure they had enough money. One even asked if we needed to add tax. :) (It's nice to see that they do have a concept about the real world.) They then switched with a partner and checked their multiplication and addition out.
Check it out!