ALEX Learning Activity


Unit Rate Grocery Shopping

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

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  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Samantha Wallace
System:Limestone County
School:Cedar Hill Elementary School
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 2236
Unit Rate Grocery Shopping
Digital Tool/Resource:
Sunday Saver Grocery Ad Website
Web Address – URL:

Students will practice the concept of unit rate by comparing the prices of various items in grocery store advertisements.

This activity results from the ALEX Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
MA2015 (2016)
Grade: 6
2 ) Understand the concept of a unit rate a/b associated with a ratio a:b with b ≠ 0, and use rate language in the context of a ratio relationship. [6-RP2]

Examples: "This recipe has a ratio of 3 cups of flour to 4 cups of sugar, so there is 3/4 cup of flour for each cup of sugar." "We paid $75 for 15 hamburgers, which is a rate of $5 per hamburger." (Expectations for unit rates in this grade are limited to non-complex fractions.)

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
8NPO3a: Perform computations with rational numbers.

NAEP Statement::
8NPO4a: Use ratios to describe problem situations.

NAEP Statement::
8NPO4b: Use fractions to represent and express ratios and proportions.

NAEP Statement::
8NPO4d: Solve problems involving percentages (including percent increase and decrease, interest rates, tax, discount, tips, or part/whole relationships).

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
M.AAS.6.2- Recognize rate vocabulary in a real-world situation (e.g., miles per hour, dollars per pound).

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to identify the unit rate of items and discuss the concept of a unit rate.

  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

Begin by asking students where they go grocery shopping. Ask students if they know why their parents have chosen the store they like. Explain that different stores have different prices for the same items.

The students will find five different items in three different stores using online ads. They should use the size of the item and the price advertised to find the unit rate from each store. The students will record the size and price for each item on the recording sheet and then calculate the unit price. They should circle the store that has the lowest price for each item.

Model the first example by finding the item in different ads (produce and beverage items work well). Model recording the price and quantity of each, and then review how to find the unit rate.

In closing, ask questions such as:

  • Which store had the lowest prices?
  • Did any of the price differences surprise you?
  • Do you think stores expect shoppers to calculate the unit rate before shopping?
  • Why might someone buy an item with a higher unit rate?
Assessment Strategies:

Check for understanding of the concept of the unit rate as the students are working. Ask students to explain how they chose which store to circle for each item; watch to be sure students aren't choosing the lowest overall price rather than the lowest unit price.

Advanced Preparation:

Make enough copies of the recording sheet for each student (or pair of students). You may want to post the link to the Sunday Saver website so students don't have to type in the URL.

Variation Tips (optional):

You can allow students to work in pairs or in small groups depending on ability.

Enrichment: Challenge students to create their ideal shopping list and find the unit price of each item. How many people would the list feed?  How much would it cost to feed a family of four?

Notes or Recommendations (optional):

If students don't have access to digital devices, you can collect actual newspaper ads from local grocery stores. Many will be happy to donate the leftovers from previous weeks.

  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: cost, price, rate, ratio, unit, unit rate