Lesson Plan Title : Estimating

Age Range:

Grade 3 through Grade 5 (Elementary School)

Overview and Purpose:

Students look through newspaper advertisements and store catalogues for three items they would like to buy. They then are told that they receive $4.80 per week for an allowance. They have to estimate the total cost of the items and how long it will take to save their allowance and buy them.


The student will be able to estimate the cost of three new items and the length of time necessary to save the money for those items.


One catalogue or newspaper advertisement flyer per student

Math journals


Pass out the catalogues and flyers to the students and give them time to look through them. Ask them to circle three items they would like to purchase. When each student has done that, have each one estimate how much all their items will cost. (Review how to estimate totals at this point, if necessary.)

Explain to the students that they receive $4.80 per week for an allowance. Have them estimate how long it will take them to save for the items they chose. Have the students check their estimates by adding the three items together and dividing the total by $4.80.

When the students are finished, come back together as a class and have them share which items they chose, how much the estimated cost is, and about how long it will take them to save for the items.


Estimating can be a difficult skill for some students to master. You can change the allowance to a whole number if students are having trouble dividing. More advanced students may want to look for more than three items to purchase.

Students can take the flyer or catalogue home and complete three more similar problems for homework practice.