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Going to the Grocery Store

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Students will select low-cost food items from a grocery store circular that reflect each of the six food groups. They will then create coin combinations to show the cost of each of their selected items. This lesson is part of the Unit Plan “What’s it Worth?

Coin Type(s)

  • Cent
  • Nickel
  • Dime
  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • Generic


  • Students will identify foods in the 6 food groups.
  • Students will recognize and express the value of products using cent notation of a penny, nickel, dime, and quarter.
  • Students will determine coin combinations for representing specific amounts of money.
  • Students will add coin amounts together.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Math

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Science


  • Kindergarten
  • First grade
  • Second grade

Class Time

Sessions: One
Session Length: 20-30 minutes
Total Length: 0-45 minutes


  • Pairs

Terms and Concepts

  • Cent
  • Coin combinations
  • Cost
  • Counting
  • Dime
  • Food groups
  • Money
  • Nickel
  • Penny
  • Price
  • Quarter
  • Value


  • Grocery store circulars from the newspaper
  • Large construction paper folded into five columns (1 piece per student pair)
  • Play coins, coin stamps, or stickers
  • Food guide pyramid or plate
  1. Begin this activity by introducing or reviewing the six food groups with your students.
  2. Divide your class into pairs and have each pair examine grocery store circulars from the newspaper.
  3. Have each pair choose one item from each of the food groups. The pairs should cut out the items they select along with their prices.
  4. Distribute a piece of construction paper to each pair of students.    
  5. Have each pair label the columns of their construction paper with the names of the food groups, then glue their pictures with the prices into the appropriate columns.
  6. Give each pair a set of play coins, coin stamps, or coin stickers. Have each pair display the coin combination that is equal to the cost of each item. If the students are using coin stamps or stickers, have them stick them under the picture of the food item; if play coins, they should lay the coins out below the picture and trace the coins, labeling the traced circle with the coin’s value.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Students could make another set of coins equal to the value of the amount in each column (showing a different way to make that amount).
  • Students could add the cost of the items in each column to find a total cost for the foods that they selected.
  • Students could select other pictures from the circular, place them in the correct columns and follow the same procedure. Have them total the cost of each column and create that amount using the smallest coin combination possible.

Evaluate the posters for correct placement of the pictures in the columns and the coin values they stamped.

This lesson plan is not associated with any Common Core Standards.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: K-2 Number and Operations
Cluster: Compute fluently and make reasonable estimates.
Grade(s): Grades K–2

In K through grade 2 all students should

  • develop and use strategies for whole-number computations, with a focus on addition and subtraction;
  • develop fluency with basic number combinations for addition and subtraction; and
  • use a variety of methods and tools to compute, including objects, mental computation, estimation, paper and pencil, and calculators.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: K-2 Number and Operations
Cluster: Understand meanings of operations and how they relate to one another.
Grade(s): Grades K–2

In K through grade 2 all students should

  • understand various meanings of addition and subtraction of whole numbers and the relationship between the two operations;
  • understand the effects of adding and subtracting whole numbers; and
  • understand situations that entail multiplication and division, such as equal groupings of objects and sharing equally.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: All Problem Solving
Cluster: Instructional programs from kindergarten through grade 12 should enable all students to
Grade(s): Grades K–2

  • Build new mathematical knowledge through problem solving
  • Solve problems that arise in mathematics and in other contexts
  • Apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to solve problems
  • Monitor and reflect on the process of mathematical problem solving

Discipline: Science
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: Life Science
Grade(s): Grades K–2

  • Characteristics of organisms
  • Life cycles of organisms
  • Organisms and environments

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: K-2 Number and Operations
Cluster: Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems.
Grade(s): Grades K–2

In K through grade 2 all students should

  • count with understanding and recognize "how many" in sets of objects;
  • use multiple models to develop initial understandings of place value and the base-ten number system;
  • develop understanding of the relative position and magnitude of whole numbers and of ordinal and cardinal numbers and their connections;
  • develop a sense of whole numbers and represent and use them in flexible ways, including relating, composing, and decomposing numbers;
  • connect number words and numerals to the quantities they represent, using various physical models and representations; and
  • understand and represent commonly used fractions, such as 1/4, 1/3, and 1/2.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: All Communication
Cluster: Instructional programs from kindergarten through grade 12 should enable all students to
Grade(s): Grades K–2

  • organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking through communication 
  • communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others;
  • analyze and evaluate the mathematical thinking and strategies of others; and
  • use the language of mathematics to express mathematical ideas precisely.   

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