Activities to Teach Students the Percents – Calculate Tax, Tip, Mark-Up, and More
Teaching students the concept of percents can be tricky. It’s not always easy for them to understand how these numbers apply to real-life situations or to visualize how they work. However, teaching students how to calculate tax, tip, markdowns, and mark-ups is a great way to make percents more relatable and understandable to them. Here are some activities you can use to help students learn how to work with percents.
1. Shopping for Sales:
This activity lets students put their percent skills to the test by giving them the chance to find the best deals when shopping. Give them a budget and a list of items they need to purchase. Then, provide them with different store flyers advertising sales on these items. Have students calculate the total cost of each item after the discount and figure out which store offers the most savings overall.
2. Eating Out:
Eating out at restaurants is a great way to teach students about calculating tips. Have students look at menus from different restaurants and estimate the cost of their meal, including tax. Then, have them calculate a 15% or 20% tip for the server and determine the total cost of the meal. This activity can be made more challenging by giving them a specific budget and asking them to determine how much they can order while still leaving an appropriate tip.
3. Store Discounts:
Store discounts, such as 10% off, can be used to teach markdowns and mark-ups. Replace the price of a specific item on a worksheet with a percentage, and let students calculate the final price after the discount has been applied. Additionally, you can provide them with a list of items and ask them to mark up the price by a certain percentage, which simulates how stores determine their prices.
4. Class Project:
You can have your students work on a class project where groups of students are assigned different percentages to work with. For example, one group could work on calculating tax, another on calculating tips, and so on. Each group could research and find real-life situations to use in their calculations, and at the end of the project, present their findings to the class.
5. Online Games:
There are many online games available that can help students practice their percent skills in a fun and engaging way. These games can be a great way to reinforce concepts that have been taught in the classroom. Some examples of such games are “Math Basketball” and “Fruit Splat Percent”.
These activities and many others can provide students with a better understanding of percents and how they are used in everyday life. By using real-world situations, students are more likely to understand the purpose of calculating percentages and develop stronger math skills overall.