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Lesson 8: Learning About Making Change

making change lesson plan

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  • Lesson Title: Learning About Making Change
  • Grade Band: 3-5
  • Lesson Length: Approximately 2 days
  • NCTM Standard: Number and Operations

Learning Objectives

  1. The student will understand the roles of the cashier and customer when making and receiving change.
  2. The student will calculate change based on single item purchases paid with a $1.00 and $5.00 bill.
  3. Assuming the role of a cashier, the student will calculate total purchase amounts for multi-item sales receipts and the amount of change to give to a customer based on cash paid.
  4. The student will compute change, given various item prices and cash paid, in a game of bingo.

Connection to Bloom’s Taxonomy

  • Comprehension
  • Application
  • Analysis
  • Synthesis

Lesson Materials

  • Bingo Markers
  • Calculators
  • Crayons or Colored Pencils
  • Index Cards
  • Pencils
  • Play or real money (a $1 bill, a $5 bill, and assorted coins)
  • Worksheets for lesson plan 8 (see sidebar)

Making Connections

What is exact change?

Students should understand that this is the same amount as the purchase amount. For example, if you buy a candy bar for $.50 you give the seller exactly $.50 and not a penny less or more.

Ask the students, “What if you don’t have the exact amount of money for the candy bar?” The opposite of exact change is simple change back from your purchase. If you purchased the candy bar with a dollar bill, your change would be $.50 in coins.

Next, as a class, brainstorm a list of places where you and your family shop or go to for services that require payment.

Some possible responses may include the following:

  • Grocery store
  • Gas station
  • Department store
  • Post office
  • Barber shop or hair salon
  • Pet store
  • Convenience store
  • Wholesale shopping club
  • Shoe store
  • Book store
  • Sporting goods store
  • Toy store
  • Ice cream shop
  • Coffee shop
  • Fast food restaurants
  • School store

Explain that often, adults may use a credit or debit card to make a purchase. However, many times people pay for products and services with cash. If you don’t have the exact amount of cash (also referred to as exact change), you can give more than the total and receive money back in return. This is called receiving change. Receiving change back may include both coin and paper money.

Have students test their shopping knowledge by asking them how much cash in specific denominations is needed to make each assumed purchase on the Going Shopping (PDF) chart. Answers will vary depending on student experiences and money sense.

Exploring and Learning

  1. Ask students to consider the following: Who is responsible for making sure that you receive the correct change when making a purchase or paying for a service with cash? Students may think it is the responsibility of the cashier. However, the customer (person who is making the purchase) is also responsible and should always be aware that mistakes can often be made by cashiers. Both the customer and cashier should always check to make sure that the correct change is given and/or received.
  2. Provide students with practice making change for single item purchases. Pair students together and provide each group with a copy of the Change Chart (PDF). This worksheet is based on customers purchasing each item with $1 and $5 bills. Students may use play money, real money, and/or a calculator to help with calculations if needed.
  3. Together as a class, use the Change Chart Answer Key (PDF) to review answers and to check for student progress.
  4. Present students with the following scenario:

    Sniffer is working at the Raymond Geddes Elementary School Store as the school store cashier. RG, Hannie, and several friends are visiting the school store during lunch.

    Can you help Sniffer calculate the change that should be returned to each customer based on the cash they use to make each purchase?

  5. To help complete the scenario, pair students together and provide each group with a copy of Making Change Worksheet (PDF). Explain and list on the board or as a transparency the following instructions with Receipt 1 completes as a sample:
    • Start with Receipt #1
    • Compute the total prices for each item by multiplying the quantity sold by the item’s retail price.
      • 5 Eraser Grips x $.35 each = $1.75
      • 1 Piranha Sharpener x $.50 each = $.50
    • Calculate the total purchase amounts. ( $1.75 + $.50 = $2.25 )
    • If the items are purchased using a $5 bill, how much change should be received? ( $2.75 )
  6. Together as a class, use Making Change Worksheet Key (PDF) to review answers and to check for student progress for all five receipts.
  7. Provide students additional practice by play a game of Geddes Bingo - Making Change. Prior to the start of the game you will need to reproduce the 3 different Bingo cards from the Geddes Bingo Game (PDF). You may choose to do this activity individually, in pairs or groups of 3 or more.
  8. Explain and list on the board or as a transparency the following game instruction:
    • Each student or group will select a Bingo card.
    • Each student or group needs Bingo markers to cover squares as the game is played or a marker can be used to “X” out the square.
    • Cover the Free Space in the center of their bingo card.
    • Place the item cards from the Geddes Bingo Game (PDF) into a container and select one person to be the “caller”. The caller will draw cards and read the item’s price and the amount paid ($1.00, $2.00, $3.00, $4.00, or $5.00) aloud to the class and it can also be written on the board.
    • Based on the information contained on the card drawn, students must determine the amount of change to be given.
    • For example:
      • The Retro Pencil card is drawn and the caller calls the $1.00 paid column with a price of $.20 for the pencil. The Bingo Columns are the paid amounts of $1.00, $2.00, $3.00, $4.00, and $5.00. These dollar amounts replace the letters B I N G O on a regular bingo game card.
      • Students will determine that $.80 is the change to be given from $1.00 paid.
      • If the Bingo card has a $.80 square in the $1.00 column it can be covered.
    • The first team to cover their bingo card squares to complete a row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, calls out BINGO.
    • The caller, with help from the teacher, will verify that the team has covered the squares correctly. If the team’s card is covered correctly, they win that round of bingo.

Extended Learning and Practice

  1. Practice making change by recalculating the amount owed to each school store customer based on each customer paying with a $20 bill.
  2. Students can also play a variation of the Making Change Bingo game where the entire board needs to be covered in order to win.
  3. Visit the United States Mint H.I.P. Pocket Change website at http://www.usmint.gov/kids/games/ for additional games and activities.

Assessment

The lesson objectives can be assessed by evaluating the Change Chart (PDF), Making Change Worksheet (PDF) with the Making Change Worksheet Answer Key (PDF).

Use the Assessment of Student Progress (PDF) to assess students’ overall abilities to meet the lesson’s learning objectives, which include understanding the roles of the cashier and customer when making and receiving change; calculating change based on single item purchases paid with a $1.00 and $5.00 bill, assuming the role of a cashier to calculate total purchase amounts for multi-item sales receipts and the amount of change to give to a customer based on cash paid; and computing change, given various item prices and cash paid, in a game of bingo.

Closure

Provide each student with an index card and have them answer the following questions on one side of the card:

  1. What are two new things that you have learned?
  2. What else would you like to learn about this topic?

On the back side of the index card, instruct the students to draw a picture of something they learned about during this lesson. The index cards can be hole punched and held together with a simple shower curtain ring.