How Would You Spend a Million Dollars?

Purpose: To encourage students in grades 5 and up to learn about the internet while planning and organizing a theme under which to spend one million dollars.

Materials: A computer with internet and WWW access and word processing and spreadsheet software

Prior Knowledge: Students should know how to use a Windows graphical interface, be able to create formulas in a spreadsheet, and know how to use a word processing application.
*Project can be done without the use of word processing and spreadsheet software if internet use only is desired.

Description: Students will decide on a theme in which they will try to spend one million dollars. All expenses must be related to the theme. They may not just randomly make purchases. If they can creatively incorporate them into their theme, great!

They will use the internet and the WWW to research prices on items required by their theme. All expenditures must be accounted for. For example, if a student chooses to hire a limousine to take friends on a tour of the country, then, accommodation, food, gasoline, mileage, driverŐs tip, etc., must all be accounted for.

Once their expenses have been researched, they will organize the information into a spreadsheet showing major category totals and itemizations within each category. Refer to attachment for an example of what these could look like.

Students will then create a final project from their data including an introductory paragraph explaining their plan and the major categories required. They will present these to the class and turn in all spreadsheets and the paragraph explaining their project to the teacher.

Time: This project could take from 1-2 weeks depending on how much in-class time is allowed for research, data organization, writing, etc.

Procedure:

Search Engines AltaVista Internet Sleuth Yahoo
Travel Agencies Travel City Airline Web
Department Stores Online Malls Houston Mall Texas Mall
Sporting Goods Stores Sporting Goods Planet Sports
Click to see an example of each spreadsheet that you should have.
Itemized Expenses Major Categories

  • Write a paragraph summarizing your theme. Explain why you chose your theme and everything that you did within that theme. Concentrate on the most exciting things. Don't overwhelm us with every little purchase. Make it sound like the great adventure that it could be!

    Extension: Make the theme a charitable one or a specific one, such as a family vacation, carnival, etc. Encourage a visual aid of some sort. Many of my students made models of their ideas, e.g., a BMX bike track, a pet shelter, etc.

    Gender Issues: Once all students have presented, brainstorm and discuss the different ways the money was spent. Did boys and girls tend to buy similar items or were there vast differences in their purchases?

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    You may e-mail me at jquilkey@cs.rice.edu