Creating a Menu Using Rounding and Estimation Skills: Enrichment or Whole Class

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SWBAT estimate using place value understanding to round money.

Big Idea

Students become owners of a mid level restaurant and have to produce a menu that will feed a customer an appetizer, entree and dessert for fifty dollars or less.

The Story

10 minutes

Enrichment: I have labeled this an enrichment lesson because in our unit we were working with only whole number estimation. While students struggling with whole number estimation worked on exercises to support them, those who mastered the skill were challenged by this rich real life task!

Setting the Stage: To help these students practice MP4 and apply critical  thinking skills to a real world scenario using their mastered rounding/estimating skills, I decided to have some fun with a creative project. They also would be extending their rounding skills to the nearest dollar and thinking about how to use the decimal point. ( Lower students were working on MAPS based computer program and some RTI work.)

I pulled my middle to high level students aside to tell them the news!

I told them they each had an Italian Uncle who had just died and left them his restaurant! In the Will, he said that he required them to create new menus for a mid- price ranged restaurant. It could NOT be fast food! In the Will, he stipulated that a person should not have to spend over fifty dollars to eat a meal of appetizer, drink, entree, and dessert. The foods should be organic and locally grown if possible and therefore, it will be a little more expensive to supply, but it will keep up with the current competition and consumer trend.

I took a minute to explain all of that and what "competition" and "consumer trend" meant. I explained to them that I was their business agent who would help them figure out a good menu by showing them how to research the criteria for their menus.


The Task

30 minutes

Materials: Drawing paper & art supplies & iPad 

I listed the requirements for their menu on the white board.

1. The menu had to consist of 3-5 appetizer choices, 3-5 entree choices, 3-5 dessert choices and drinks ( no alcohol)

2. The menu prices needed to be rounded to the nearest dollar and you must add combinations to be sure a customer can never go over $50.00 ( This exercises MP2 and reinforces and extends 4.NBCT.A.3 )

3. A person should not have to spend more than $50.00 to have a complete meal.

4. You must research and choose up to two websites to find examples of the items on your menu. (Otherwise it gets too time consuming).

5. You must describe the items on your menu. ( Except for drinks)

6. You must create it on the iPad or on your home computer.

7. You can print it!


Rather than just turning them loose to research restaurants, we made a list together of restaurants in the area that they knew. We discussed what makes a fast food restaurant. What is the difference between the mid- priced restaurant and a fast food and its menu. 

After we made the list. I brought up a website.  We discussed the menu design and how prices were listed. We looked at a few high priced restaurants ( Betony in NY City where my nephew is the Executive Chef. This added a personal touch to the lesson that they really liked) All of the prices have no cents. We discussed that mid- priced restaurants often have the cents with the dollars, but most of the time, the amounts are rounded. 

After we looked at a few choices in our area, they went back to their desks and  I let them research on their own for 10 minutes. I roved the classroom discussing the menu research and understanding the prices to help support student's understanding. There were wonderful discoveries about how restaurants list their prices. We learned that chain restaurants don't advertise prices on the internet. When I asked them why, they didn't know that prices vary from coast to coast. 

They continually came to me to ask if what they were looking at was a fast food restaurant. I stopped them and talked about prices and how they could tell by the prices if it was fast food. Then we discussed the nutrition. What were the differences there?

Students worked in their assignment notebooks to develop rough drafts of their menus.

This real life exposure to thinking about cost of food, organizing a menu designed to fit a budget and then the chance to use that information to create a menu is rich and engaging!



The Product ( Homework)

30 minutes

Students presented their menus to the rest of the class either on drawing paper or on Apple TV on their iPad. I asked each one of them upon their presentation what the largest amount of money a person could spend in their restaurant for a meal including beverages, appetizer, entree and dessert. Each student easily added in their head and everyone's menu was under $50.00. Their menus were entertaining on Educreations with narrations and on Haiku Deck with backgrounds they had chosen. Menu 3 page 1,Menu 3 page 2Menu 3 page 3 's sense of humor was fun.  "Where the customer is always right."  cracked me up. Menu 2 page 1,& Menu 2 page 1's restaurant's name is "Ducks". He claims that duck is not served there.

It's fun...It's all just fun and the rounding and estimation application is just great.