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This lesson was developed for students in elementary (3-5) but can be adapted to middle and high school. The lesson correlates to the guidelines related to the TEKs in Math, Social Studies, Science and Technology skills Texas Education Agency .

The Students are given a set amount of money and told to create a dinner menu using a website which caters to online food shopping. Students will be able to compute costs associated with purchasing the food and cost per person. Students should know how to add and subtract using decimals, be familiar with graphs and pie charts and be able to collaborate in small groups on what type of menu to use. Students can look at the Food Pyramid to determine what the recommended daily food portions are.



This lesson is anchored in fourth grade math and involves technology, social studies and science to a lesser extent. This lesson can easily be extended to middle school using the same subjects.

The learner will need to know basic technology skills, knowledge of addition and subtraction using decimals prior to beginning this lesson.



The lesson is designed based on the existing standards used in the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)

Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems

  • This learner will be required to understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems
  • Understand the place-value structure of the base-ten number system and be able to represent and compare whole numbers and decimals
  • Recognize equivalent representations for the same number and generate them by decomposing and composing numbers
  • Develop understanding of fractions as parts of unit wholes, as parts of a collection, as locations on number lines, and as divisions of whole numbers
  • Use models, benchmarks, and equivalent forms to judge the size of fractions
  • Recognize and generate equivalent forms of commonly used fractions, decimals, and percents
  • Explore numbers less than 0 by extending the number line and through familiar applications
  • Describe classes of numbers according to characteristics such as the nature of their factors



1. Students will work in teams to create a menu. They should be able to organize their thoughts and ideas in a web.

2. Students should be able to work online in a grocery store and navigate to find items to purchase for the dinner and the costs.

3. Students should be able to keep track of their expenses and determine the serving portion and how many portions they will need. They will keep track of these by using a worksheet.

4.The learner will be able to determine food servings by navigating on the Food Pyramid. Students can also view a Metrics Chart.

5. Costs will be entered in online in a graph designer to create a pie chart.

6. The learner can calculate costs using a online calculator.

7. The finished product should include a web for ideas, the worksheet that calculates the costs for the entire dinner and per person, and a graph.

This lesson is organized to cover a period of 2 to 3 days and can involve more than one class depending on how detailed you may want to get. It can be taught in one period but use a multiple disciplines. Students can be divided into groups of 4 members. On the first day each group can brainstorm on what the menu will be. The second day can be used to look up prices of the food items and keep track of the costs using the online calculator. Once they have completed this task, groups can start writing their report.

This lesson is easy enough for a novice teacher to perform and can easily be adapted to other disciplines.


These pages were developed through TeacherTECH, the teacher professional development component of GirlTECH, which is sponsored by the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education (CEEE) and made possible by support from the National Science Foundation and Rice University.

Copyright © 1995 -2006 by Christine E. Clark
Updated: Wednesday, June 14, 2006 1:41 PM