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Public Education Educator Resources Shopping for Puppy

Learning Objective

Students will solve decimal addition problems in a real-world setting.


Grade Levels



Common Core Standard


Use the four operations to solve word problems involving distances, intervals of time, liquid volumes, masses of objects, and money, including problems involving simple fractions or decimals, and problems that require expressing measurements given in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit. Represent measurement quantities using diagrams such as number line diagrams that feature a measurement scale.


Materials Needed

Puppy shopping list handout




  • Explain to students that today for math they will be creating a shopping list for their new puppy.
  • Before starting the activity, tell students that you would like to review the addition of decimals.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling

  • Write the following problem on the board and demonstrate how to solve it:




Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling

  • Write the following two problems on the board and have the students solve them on a piece of lined paper.

$4.63                     $3.54

+$2.12                   +$2.75

———-                 ————

  • Once everyone is finished, work through the problems and allow students to help you by supplying their answers.

Independent Working Time (20 minutes)

  • Tell the students that we will be practicing decimal addition by creating a shopping list for a new puppy.
  • Have students give you ideas about what puppies need. List their ideas on the board.
  • Review the resources here to help fill in any gaps: Buying a Dog
  • Pass out the Puppy Shopping List handout.
  • Have students choose 3 items that they will buy for their puppy with the $25.00 budget they have.
  • Explain to students that they will be looking through store ads to see how much the items cost.
  • Create piles of store ads and magazines either at each table group or at the front of the classroom.
  • Students should cut out pictures of the items they chose and glue them to their handout.
  • Walk the room to monitor students and help as needed.
  • At the end of 10 minutes, have students recheck their work on notebook paper to make sure they are within the $25.00.

Review and Closing (5 minutes)

  • Display the final shopping lists throughout the class and conduct a gallery walk for students to view each other’s work.