This is a level 4 number activity from the Figure It Out series. It relates to Stage 7 of the Number Framework.
find 10% and 20% of money amounts
use addition and subtraction to solve money problems
Number Framework Links
All students at stage 7 and above should be able to play this game, which is also accessible for those at stage 6 with teacher guidance in calculating discounts. They will need to be able to calculate half price and 10 percent or 20 percent discounts. The game and the activity that follows it also require students to be able to add and subtract decimals in the context of money. (See the table of NDP material on page 4.)
In this game, students learn about the range of variables that need to be considered to meet the market demand and make the most profit at market day. This knowledge helps students to understand the importance of taking the right quantity of stock to the market and selling it at the “right” price. They learn that there are consequences for each business decision made and that the market place is risky.
This game has a number of instructions and will be difficult at first for students to play independently. A short demonstration with you may be necessary. Once the students understand the game fully, it involves a bit of strategising and will be enjoyed more if played a number of times.
The game simulates a market stall, which is a different selling situation to that of a shop, where normally the prices are fixed. At a stall, people can barter and try to get a bargain. In this game, the students are all stall owners – each trying to make as much money through sales as possible (the “buyer” is imaginary). When
students land on a Sale space, they make a sale at the advertised price (that is, $12 for juggling balls, $5 for hacky sacks, and $8 for bungy balls); rolling the J, J, B, B, H, H dice will decide which item is sold. When students land on a Market Option space, it means a buyer is trying to barter a deal. The player has the option of
selling or not (this is where the strategising comes into play). For example, one market option space reads: “Sell 3 bungy balls and give a 4th free.” This means the player has to cross off four bungy balls from their inventory but will only get $24 (the price of three balls). The player may choose to turn down this offer, in which case,
they keep their bungy balls for later full-price sales and receive no money on this turn.
Some students may wish to take short cuts and only record the money they receive and not keep track of their inventory. It is important to keep a record of stock because this will make the game more realistic and require more thoughtful decision making and strategising when the stock runs low. One adaptation some students may
find helpful is to have 30 counters of three different colours to represent their inventory of juggling balls, hacky sacks, and bungy balls respectively. With every sale, they can hand in the requisite counter and record the money intake as per usual. In fact, kinaesthetic learners may wish to play the game with paper money so that it
becomes a role-playing simulation of the market day. Note: When the counters run out, the player can’t make a sale of that item.
Mathematics and statistics
In order to play this game successfully, students need to be comfortable with their 5, 8, and 12 times multiplication tables. The students also need to be comfortable with finding half price and 10 percent and 20 percent discounts. Knowing how to convert between percentages and fractions is essential. Using a simple example helps. Ask:
What is half price of $10? (This is 1/2 x $10 = $5)
What is 10 percent discount on $10? (1/10 of $10 = $1.00. $10 discounted by 10 percent is $9.00.)
What is 20 percent discount on $10? (2/10 of $10 = $2.00. $10 discounted by 20 percent is $8.00.)
It may be useful to clarify with students the following calculations before the game:
half price for $12 is $6, 10 percent discounted from $12 is $10.80, 20 percent discounted from $12 is $9.60; half price of $8 is $4, 10 percent discounted from $8 is $7.20, 20 percent discounted from $8 is $6.40; half price for $5 is $2.50, 10 percent discounted from $5 is $4.50, 20 percent discounted from $5 is $4.
After the game
For the question 1 discussion, strategies will depend on the length of time or the number of turns the students choose to play. If they are playing for a long time, it’s better to avoid market options of half price because this will deplete stock quickly and will probably mean missing out on a full price sale. If the students only play for
a short time, it’s better to take every market option because every sale will bring in a profit and the more stock sold, the more money earned.
Mathematics and statistics
For question 2, encourage the students to keep a running total of their income from sales. They can perhaps check their balance at the end of the game by adding up all the money they have received. Note that the answer to question 2 can be checked by adding up the amounts in the “money in” column.
For question 3a, the cost of making the stock and the stall rental should technically be entered first because the outlay comes before the income. However, this means the balance begins with negative amounts, which makes calculation of the balance quite challenging. The students will need to be at least at the advanced multiplicative
stage to be able to do this. As an alternative, perhaps while they are playing the game, have the students recordtheir sales (money in) before the expenditure (money out). This will give an order that should not involve difficult calculations with negative numbers.
For question 4, to maximise profit in a short game (such as only 10 to 15 turns), the players need to sell at every opportunity and take all market options. In a long game, if all stock is sold at full price, the player can earn $250 ([$12 x 10] + [$8 x 10] + [$5 x 10]), which is a profit of $135 after all expenses ($115) are considered.
Ask Is a profit of $135 worth the time taken to make the stock and the time involved in sitting at the stall? This depends on the time involved. The previous activity states that Anna takes 30 minutes to make a set of juggling balls. If it takes 15 hours to make the stock for the stall, this means that Anna will be earning less than $10 per hour, not including the time at the stall. However, often making two or more sets does not take as long as the first set because a production line can be set up. It is likely that bungy balls and hacky sacks take less time because they are just one piece each, not three. Anna may also be able to use the time at the stall to continue making her stock, or she may share a stall with a friend to minimise costs.
Students sometimes want to set up cake stalls to raise funds for classroom events. They may like to use Anna’s experiences to estimate whether a cake stall is in fact financially viable. The students could find out the cost of cake ingredients, estimate the cost of the cakes, the income they generate, and also consider the time taken to
engage in the endeavour.
Social Sciences Links
• Understand how producers and consumers exercise their rights and meet their responsibilities (Social Studies, level 4)
Students could investigate what rights and responsibilities the consumers at Anna’s stall have.
Other Cross-curricular Links
English achievement objective:
• Purposes and audiences: Show a developing/increasing understanding of how to shape texts for different purposes and audiences (Speaking, Writing, and Presenting, levels 3–4)
Students could perform a drama enactment of the sort of sales pitch Anna may need to use to attract customers to her stall.
Answers to Activity
A game involving earning income and making a profit
After the game
1. Discussion will vary. Strategies may include selling only if less than a 25% discount or selling if there is still plenty of stock in the inventory and the game is more than halfway through.
2. Answers will vary.
3. a. Answers will vary. Money out (expenditure) should total $115.
b. Answers will vary. Profit = income – $115
c. The amount is recorded as a loss instead of as a profit. (For example, $80 – $115 = –$35)
4. Answers will vary. To maximise profit in a short game (such as only 10 to 15 turns), the players need to sell at every opportunity and take all the market options that they land on. In a long game, if all stock is sold at full price, the player can earn $250 ([$12 x 10] + [$8 x 10] + [$5 x 10]), which is a profit of $135 after all expenses are deducted.
Answers will vary. Although Anna enjoys making the balls and hacky sacks and seeing people use them, it would be very discouraging after a while to make no profit from them. Also, she needs to make a profit so that she can buy more supplies – she
might need new supplies to make more stock before she sells all the ones she has already made