This unit provides an opportunity for students to learn and apply rates and ratios in an engaging and authentic context outside of the mathematics classroom.

Achievement Objectives
GM5-1: Select and use appropriate metric units for length, area, volume and capacity, weight (mass), temperature, angle, and time, with awareness that measurements are approximate.
NA5-1: Reason with linear proportions.
Specific Learning Outcomes
  • Develop a problem solving strategy to work out the unit cost for a produced item (drink).
  • Measure weight and capacity accurately, knowing weighing water is equivalent to measuring its capacity in ml.
  • Convert volume measurements to weight measurements.
Description of Mathematics

Associated Achievement Objectives:


TK5-2 Technological Products:  Understand how ingredients are selected, based on desired performance criteria.

Required Resource Materials
  • Devices such as Chromebooks or laptops on which to access online grocery shopping.
  • Ingredients for mocktails.
  • Access to a kitchen and food preparation equipment.

The overall aim of the unit is for students to create a mocktail, be able to express the recipe using both measurements for a specific quantity and using ratio so the drink can be produced in larger quantities.  Students will be able to shop online for ingredients so that their recipe can be fully costed out and they will know the cost for the ingredients and per drink.  Students will also be working towards optimizing their shopping and recipes to minimize wastage and cost.

The unit is presented as sequence of 12 sessions but more sessions than this may be required. 

The unit starts with an introductory stations activity, followed by a set of skill building lessons which follow the same format each time. Students build up a record of their work as they develop their problem solving skills. Once they have sufficient experience, students then research and design their own mocktail. They practice making it in sessions of the same format as earlier in the unit. Students recipes are used to create a recipe book and there is a “party” to finish the unit where students invite teachers to come and taste test their mocktails.

Session 1


  • Introduction to the unit of work
  • Exploring equipment and ingredients used in mocktails and kitchen safety.
  • Learning about ratios and measures.

Stations activityMocktail stations

Students spend up to about 10 minutes completing the tasks at each station (Copymaster 1). There are seven stations in total and each station introduces an idea for the mathematics or technology content.  It is an ideal opportunity to see where students’ level of mathematical thinking is before starting the unit.

Session 2


  • Costing ingredients for a mocktail.
  • Finding the cost for one drink.
  • Learning how to make mocktails.

Pina Banana

Students make a Pina Banana using the instruction card (Copymaster 2), take a photo, and enjoy it while they complete their written work.

Using online grocery shopping site such as Countdown or Pak n Save, in their books they answer the following focus questions without too much guidance.  Encourage students to look at the working of the students around them and point out examples of good ways to set out the working.

  • How much to buy ingredients to make a Pina Banana?
  • How much does it cost to make a drink?
  • How many drinks could you make with these ingredients?
  • What is the cost per drink?
  • Could you buy just a little bit more of one ingredient in order to make a lot more drinks, e.g. one more banana?
  • What leftovers will you have?
  • Describe the colour, flavour and texture of a Pina Banana.

Session 3


  • Costing ingredients for a mocktail.
  • Finding how many drinks to make for a fixed cost.
  • Generalising information for pricing.
  • Learning how to make mocktails.

Shirley Temple

Students make a Shirley Temple using the instruction card (Copymaster 3), take a photo, and enjoy it while they complete their written work.

In their books they answer the following focus questions:

  • How many Shirley Temples can you make for $20?
  • How much sugar is in a Shirley Temple?
  • Why is it called a Shirley Temple?
  • Describe the colour, flavour and texture of a Shirley Temple.

This time you can use the examples of the work from the previous session to make up a generalised format of a layout to record costs in.  It would probably look something like this:

Session 4


  • Costing ingredients for a mocktail.
  • Changing ingredients and re-costing.
  • Learning how to make mocktails.

Pink Panther

Students make a Pink Panther using the instruction card (Copymaster 4), take a photo, and enjoy it while they complete their written work.

In their books they answer the following focus questions:

  • How much to make an organic Pink Panther?
  • How much to make a sugar-free Pink Panther?
  • Notice that the ingredients are the same as a Shirley Temple but the resulting mocktail is quite different.  Compare and contrast the two mocktails.

Session 5


  • Using ratios

Students glue in photos of the work they have completed so far.  This session is an opportunity for students to complete any of the focus questions they have yet to answer.  Students are able to extend their mathematics by expressing each recipe using ratios for the liquid ingredients, calculating the exact amount of each ingredient to make a 1 litre “jug to share” mocktail, or learning to use a spreadsheet to set out the costing and use formulae to make the calculations/optimisations.

Session 6


  • Designing own mocktail.
  • Making and recording measurements.
  • Comparing capacity and weight for liquid measures.

Students plan to make their own mocktail using the booklet (Copymaster 5) and guide (Copymaster 6) provided. The research and design take two sessions to do properly.  During this time, groups work with one of the teachers to measure the capacity of each of the glass types, highball, lowball, cocktail, flute.  This is important, as the volume in the recipe needs to match the volume of the glass they will use.  The measurement happens in groups with teacher guidance.  Students weigh and tare a glass and then fill it with water to an appropriate level and weigh it again.  The weight of the water in grams is the capacity in ml.  Students record the capacity of each glass. In this small activity, students learn how full a glass should be and that 1ml = 1g for water, and that this is a good estimate for other liquids.  Students can also be challenged to think about the approximate nature of the measurement, for example whether there is exactly 183 g or ml if that is what the scales say.

Session 7


  • Practicing their mocktail
  • Costing out their mocktail

Students practice making their mocktail and start costing it out.  The main focus is trialing the mocktail which will take longer than the mocktail skill building sessions.  During this activity they should also be weighing precisely the solid ingredients.  e.g. if their recipe uses ¼ cup of blue berries, they should be recording the weight so that they can use this in their recipe and adjust it more accurately if there is a little to many or few blueberries in the 1st trial.

Session 8


  • Finalising mocktail
  • Optimising cost

Students practice making their mocktail again. The focus this time should be on producing it much faster as well as finalizing volume and weight measures for ingredients.  Spare time after the trial can be spent continuing to draft the shopping list and optimising the cost per mocktail.

Session 9


  • Finalising recipes and costings
  • Getting recipe recorded

Students complete a draft recipe card, costing and optimisation on paper (Copymaster 7). There is an example provided showing what this might look like (Copymaster 8).  Once it is completed on paper, students then start typing it up.  The reason for working on paper first is so that students are familiar with what it will look like and what is in it so that they can be focused and efficient when producing it digitally. This is especially important for students who are easily distracted when using technology. These recipes  collated by the teachers and put into a recipe book which is printed and handed out to students in the final session.

Session 10


  • Tasting and judging the mocktails

Students make their mocktails for final photos and guest tasters. Available teachers/guests can be invited to come and taste and judge the mocktails in a positive and celebratory way. The students will love seeing the guests’ reactions and enjoyment of their creations.  Each guest judge has their own straw to use in the drinks and rates each one they tasted using a scale of 1 to 5 for flavour, texture and presentation.

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Level Five