I hand out a sheet that has pictures of Japanese money and their values to each student. I ask them what they notice about the coins. (They are a 1,5,10, 50, 100, 500). We talk about what we have that is similar ( penny, nickel, dime, dollar bill and 5 dollar bill). When we discuss the 5 dollar bill, I ask students the value of the 5 dollar bill in pennies. I ask for a volunteer and when I have a student say 500, I write that on the board for comparison to the 500 yen piece.) I ask students what coin is missing (the quarter).
We discuss how 1 Yen is just about equal to 1 cent, 5 yen is about 5 cents, 10 yen is about 10 cents, 50 yen is about 50 cents, $1.00 = 100 cents = 100 yen and $5.00 = 500 cents or 500 yen.
We look at the 1,000 yen bill the 5,000 yen bill and the 10,000 yen bill. I write $10.00 on the board and then $50.00 and $100.00 on the board. I ask students what they notice about the two sets of numbers. 1,000 yen and 10.00 look the same if we remove the , or the . We look the same way at the 5,000 yen and the $50.00. Students now have an introduction to the equivalencies 1,000 yen is about 10.00, 5,000 yen is about 50.00 and 10,000 yen is about 100.00.
I bring out a flier from a Japanese newspaper. It is a grocery store flier and shows pictures of Japanese foods with prices in yen. We look first at a tomato for 398 yen. Together we use the reference sheet to choose 3 100 yen coins, 1 50 yen coin, 4 ten yen coins, 1 five yen coin and 3 one yen coins to equal 398 yen.
Next we look at the apple which is 590 yen. I ask students to use their reference page to record the currency they would use to pay for the apple. I circulate around to see if students are grasping the concept of breaking apart the 590 to find the correct coins.
We repeat the process with several other vegetables and fish from the flier.
I have created several word problems that have items students might buy if they traveled to Japan. I pass out the sheet and ask students to complete the word problems on their own using their Japanese money reference page as needed.
Students use a variety of strategies to solve the problems. I circulate around to provide support to students who may need help with the problems.
We close today by sharing the solutions for 1 or 2 problems.