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12 Shopping-Themed Lesson Plans for Teachers and Kids

December 30, 2020


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Prioritizing health and safety this year means many school children are learning virtually from their teachers or directly from their parents. This new challenge includes creating lesson plans, homework assignments, and tests in a manner that keep children engaged from home.

Finding everyday assignments that fit your child’s grade level can be challenging and expensive if you purchase your materials brand new in-store or online. Instead, consider basing courses around tasks and chores that are already on the to-do list.

To save teachers and parents-turned-teachers alike time and money, we’ve rounded up some helpful — and cheap! — lesson plans based around shopping.

Whether you’re teaching your little one how to count bananas in the produce section or showing your tween how to calculate discount prices at the checkout counter, this guide provides some simple yet effective lessons that won’t break the bank.

Read on to find materials and printables that won’t cost you a fortune. Be sure to take advantage of any free e-learning tools that could make the transition to in-home teaching easier.

Editor’s tip: Use this coupon from Discount School Supply to save on any new materials you need.

Kindergarten Through 5th Grade


Understanding advertisements and sales: Combine reading, math, and life skills in this lesson about grocery store advertisements. Readers are asked to review the grocery ads, and then answer questions that correspond to the ads. Kids will need to consider buy-one-get-one-free, sale prices, and bulk purchases. The arithmetic is simple so as not to confuse young learners.

While this unit isn’t totally free, it only costs a couple of bucks and can be purchased at a discounted price when using this Teachers Pay Teachers coupon.

Dollars and cents: Help counting dollars make sense to younger children with this interactive counting money game. Players are given a dollar amount and asked to drag virtual bills and coins into the answer box until they’ve reached the said amount.

From pennies to hundred dollar bills, this easy-to-use game is super fun and straightforward way for young children to become familiar with the difference in value without costing you any coins in real life.

Menu math: Merge math and life-skills with this simple lesson that makes fast-food fun and educational.

This menu math printable and accompanying worksheet lists popular fast food items like french fries and ice cream and prompts children to add up various combinations of the items to make a meal.

The worksheet has 10 different food combination questions, but you can cut out the menu items and combine them however you like for even more math fun.

You can make this lesson more challenging by asking your child to calculate the total with a 10%, 15%, or 20% discount.

Weight and price: For parents teaching their kids, show math in action by making a grocery list together, and setting a budget before heading to the store.

While shopping, have them compare the sizes and prices of each item to decide whether or not it should go in the cart. Take advantage of the scales in the produce aisle to teach them how weight also affects the price. Have your child guesstimate how much items will cost according to their weight and price, and check your answers at home by reviewing the receipt.

This lesson will help children grasp the concept of estimation and how that translates when shopping. Download this printable grocery guessing game to get started.

6th Through 8th Grade


Comparative shopping: This 11-page worksheet outlines the benefit of shopping comparatively and buying in bulk. It provides clear examples of real-life products and outlines how to find the price per item when buying in large quantities.

Questions are asked as both word problems and numerical equations to help students fully comprehend the objective. The best part for parents? There’s an answer key on the last page to make reviewing a breeze. Did we mention it’s absolutely free?

Discounts and percentages: Learning how to calculate percentages will help your child understand how taxes and discounts affect the price of everything. Create your own simple math lesson plan by looking over advertisements in the local paper and calculating the costs of various items after discounts and taxes.

All that’s needed is a pencil and paper and a calculator to check your work, but you can use this printable grocery ad worksheet to make things easier. Additionally, there are related plans at the bottom of the page for more math fun.

Credit basics: These lessons on credit basics act as a simple yet reliable resource to teach middle schoolers about how credit and credit cards work.

Upon completing these lessons, your child will be able to differentiate between debit and credit, explain what a credit score is and how it’s calculated, and understand why financial independence is so important.

The page includes several different lessons, important terminology, and teaching tips. On top of that, there are six unique downloadable PDFs to accompany the lesson plans.

Grocery store challenge: Turn just another shopping trip into a fun game with the Grocery Store Challenge. The objective of this game is to teach teens how to stretch a dollar by evaluating needs versus wants and recognizing how that ties into budgeting.

This real-life lesson only requires writing a grocery list prior to hitting the grocery store that will be reassessed after the items have been purchased. After seeing how quickly unessential items raise the total, they just might stop asking for Pop-Tarts — but don’t count on it.

9th Through 12th Grade


Budgeting: This lesson on The Art of Budgeting presents a very practical activity that will leave teens critically thinking about their life goals and how to reach them.

This activity prompts students to categorize and prioritize all their goals — from social and financial to educational — and asks how they can work toward them now, as well as what resources they may need in the future.

While this activity is a bit longer at 15 pages, it will give your teen the opportunity to recognize the steps necessary to make their own dreams come true and get them thinking about how they can get a jump-start on accomplishing them.

Brand name vs. generic: One of the most consuming aspects of being a teenager is being the so-called cool kid. This means buying all the latest stuff from whatever brand is popular at the time. Stop your young adult from thinking that pricier inherently means better by teaching them to critically evaluate whether or not generic food items have any meaningful differences from their brand-name counterparts.

Print out this generic versus name brand worksheet and have your frugal shopper in the making compare various prices and ingredients of similar items next time you’re at the store.

Consumption in the USA: Watch the viral 20-minute video, “The Story of Stuff,” and learn just how the government, big corporations, and the future well-being of our environment go hand-in-hand. Detailing sustainability, planned versus perceived obsolescence, and other eye-opening concepts will shine a new light on why staying on top of fast-paced trends is not beneficial in the long run.

Use these teaching materials that go along with “The Story of Stuff” for a seamless and free lesson plan

Money management: In this lesson on money management, you’ll instruct your child/student to create a grocery shopping list based on the profile of five unique families. Each household has different dietary needs and strict budgets to account for, making this lesson more challenging than expected.

This activity is great for high-schoolers who may be getting their first paychecks or seniors who may be going off to college and will need to begin budgeting for their own meals in the near future.

Other Places to Find Online Shopping Lesson Plans

There are tons of other resources online to help jumpstart the home-learning process. Here are a few:

This article has 56 (!!) different printables to help teach children about money.

FloridaHealth has a lesson on the layout of a grocery store and the various types of food and where they come from. They offer a lesson for 3–4.5-year-olds as well as 4.5–5-year-olds.

ReadWriteThink offers a grocery store scavenger hunt to teach children in grades 6–8 about nutrition.

The US Mint’s lesson on coins and food prices incorporates math and nutrition in this course best suited for grades K–2.

Everfi offers a financial literacy lesson for middle schoolers called “Turn Up at Target” that includes a printable worksheet.

The USDA’s Healthy Food Shopping lesson plan for high-schoolers details how to meal plan and how to shop for oneself and family.

WeAreTeachers has a few lessons on saving and budgeting for teens.

Whether they’re five or fifteen, hopefully, this guide has supplied a variety of shopping-based lesson plans that’ll resonate with your children. Remember to download and use the coordinating printables for each lesson plan to get the best benefit for the least amount of money.

If you do end up needing to purchase some new materials, be sure to look for places that offer teacher discounts and take advantage of the lower price.


Teachers Pay Teachers | ABC Ya | CreditRepair | iSOSY | FDA | The US Mint | USDA | InCharge | Story of Stuff | Laura Candler | FloridaHealth | Everfi | The US Mint | Education World |

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