Shopping brochures are an awesome source of mathematics inspiration. Children really like them and they are so useful. First of all they are available at no cost, secondly they are super simple to get and in addition they can be used for some awesome mathematics actions.
I keep at least 50 or so brochures handy at all times. I usually ask (but not always) before getting 30 or so brochures from the shop display cabinet.
They are great for keeping learners involved, on task and engaged.
Students will need to cut and stick so be prepared for some clutter and disturbance. Perhaps you need to let your teaching partner know beforehand.
Some time, when I am teaching, I let students know we are doing some really awesome mathematics things and get them started on the activities below. Often it becomes a competition – particularly with the young children.
Other times, I create 5 or so on the white board and let them go. When most are finished, I create another 5.
It is simpler if the learners have the same catalog for the activity.
If brochures are not at the entrance/exit of the store, I ask at the assistant if I can pick up 30 or so. They look at me like I am bonkers but they normally hand them over.
Try these activities with your class of primary aged students.
- Purchase 5 things you would like and find the sum.
- Purchase any two items and find the difference between each item.
- Purchase two items so that the difference is $2, then $3, then $4 and so on.
- Do the same activity with 3 items and see how far you get.
- Purchase 5 items so that the sum total is even.
- Do the same so that the total is odd.
- Purchase 2 items that you think belong together. Purchase another 2 until you have 10 pairs. Now glue them in your sheet so that the total of the two items are in ascending order.
- From the grocery catalogue, cut out 20 individual items. Now make these items into four groups, giving each group a name. Explain to your partner why you grouped these items and why each item belongs in that group.
- Cut out 30 items. Tag each item with ONE NAME. Eg a box of Kleenex might be called tissues. Arrange the items in REVERSE alphabetical order.
- Cut out any five items. Glue these items onto a sheet and under each item write down five separate words for each item. Circle and link words of similar meaning.