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Lesson Plan #:AELP-ATH0010
Submitted by: Tina Watkins
Endorsed by: Don Descy
Mankato State University Date: March 3, 1997

Grade level(s): 3


  • Mathematics/Arithmetic

Description: This lesson will help students learn what total cost is. There will be a mock store set up in the classroom with objects that have price tags on them for the students to practice their addition skills in working with money.


  • The students will be able to add merchandise up to find total cost.
  • The students will be able to line numbers up correctly, according to decimal point.
  • Background information for the teacher:

    The teacher should review with the students decimal points and the placement of numbers with decimals when adding them together.

    Concepts covered: The student will be using addition to find total cost. They will be working with dollar signs and decimal points.


  • tennis balls
  • hat
  • cassette tape
  • notebook
  • markers
  • pencil sharpener
  • soap
  • book
  • price tags
  • chalk
  • chalkboard
  • Procedure:

  • Tell the students that we are going to go shopping today. Go to the mock store, at the front of the room, and pick up some tennis balls, and a hat. Take these to an imaginary checkout counter, and say that the total cost is $16.93. Ask the class how I got that.
  • Tell the class that today we are going to go shopping, and practice adding money together, so we will know how to figure out total cost.
  • Also tell the class that since we are working with money, it is very important to always remember to use a dollar sign. It is also necessary to use a decimal point so we get or numbers lined up correctly, to get the right total amount.
  • Go over with the class what was bought on the shopping trip: a hat ($12.95) and tennis balls ($3.98). When we add these together, it is like adding two whole numbers, except for the decimal point: 1295+ 699= 1994 or $12.95 + $6.99= $19.94.
  • At this point, ask the students if they have any questions, and do another problem together as a class. For example, tennis balls ($3.98) + notebook ($1.45) =$5.43.
  • Write some more problems on the chalkboard for the students to answer on their own paper. Have a student come up and write the total cost of the merchandise, using proper dollar signs, and decimal points. Problem 1. hat ($12.95) +cassette tape ($6.99) =$19.94
    Problem 2. notebook ($1.45) + markers ($3.25) = $4.70
    Problem 3. pencil sharpener ($1.05) +soap ($1.35) =$2.40
    Problem 4. tennis balls ($3.98) +notebook ($1.45) +book $2.99)= $8.42
  • Assign some more problems for the students to do as homework. Allow them time to work in class. Remind them that we practiced adding money together to find total cost, so the next time they go shopping at a store, they can use the skills that they have learned today.
  • Assessment:

    Go over the problems that were assigned to the students as homework, and answer any questions that they have. Have them correct those that they got wrong. Make sure all of the numbers are lined up correctly, according to decimal point.