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Percent Math Lesson: Calculating Taxes, Tips, and Sale Prices

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Percent Math Lesson: Calculating Taxes, Tips, and Sale Prices

Here's a ready-to-go lesson for your middle school math unit on percentages. It encourages students to use multiple methods and mental math when calculating the tax, tip, or sale price for everyday transactions. This is one of the times you can easily say to your students, "You will use this math regularly in your life!"

How to Use:

Start with the handout, which goes through three simple methods for calculating percentages.

  • Benchmark: An easy calculation strategy using familiar percentages like 1%, 10%, and 50%.

  • Decimals: Calculating involves multiplying the amount by its matching decimal form percentage.

  • Fractions: Division based on fraction equivalents is used for identifying certain percentage amounts.

Tell your students that certain methods work best for certain situations. For example, the fraction method is great for 50% or 25% off. The benchmark method is easy when calculating a 10% tip. The decimal method works great for calculating 12% tax.

Next, students have six real world math problems to tackle involving taxes, tips, and sale prices. They can use any of the strategies to solve any of the problems- they should choose the one that is the easiest to use for each scenario! Students can work individually or in pairs or small groups collaboratively.

Grades to Use With:

This lesson is perfect for grade 7 classes that are working on Proportional Relationships to solve multistep problems. It could also be used for enrichment in grade 6 or for a review and lesson about multiple strategies in grades 8 and 9. Finally, it could be used in high school special education classrooms.

What's Included:

Ready-to-print 5 Page PDF with a title page, handout, 2 pages of practice questions, and a complete answer key!

If you like this percentage activity, check out others in my store:

Math Stations: Percent, Decimals and Fractions

Visual Math: Percentages, Decimals, Ratios and Fractions Posters

Grocery Store Shopping: Price Comparisons

Resource Tags

percent calculations real-world math percentages practical application financial literacy mental math fractions decimals budget percent how to teach percentage

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