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Lesson plans: Calculating profits from selling virtual lemonade

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Lesson plans: Calculating profits from selling virtual lemonade

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You can introduce or augment technology skills with our lesson plans for teachers. They’re ready to use as they are, or you can customise them to fit your specific teaching and learning goals.

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In this lesson, students set up a virtual lemonade stand and decide how many cups of lemonade to prepare, which ingredients to buy, and costs for each cup of lemonade. The game simulates customer behaviour, and students record their decisions and outcomes.

​Objectives

  • Students will employ technology in the development of strategies for solving problems in the real world.
  • Students will understand the basic concept of profits and losses.

Learning outcomes

  • Students will purchase ingredients for making lemonade.
  • Students will determine the cost to produce one cup of lemonade.
  • Students will assess weather forecasts and customer behaviour patterns to determine how much lemonade to make each day.
  • Students will use an Office Excel spreadsheet to collect data and record outcomes.
  • Students will write a report reflecting on their data and the outcomes.

​Lesson procedure

Introduction

When you run your own business, you have to make a lot of important decisions based on maths. You have to calculate how many supplies to buy, analyse the data you collect from your sales figures every day, and make decisions about the future based on the conclusions you draw from your information.

In this activity, you will each set up and run your own business—a lemonade stand. You will make all the business decisions about materials, costs, and how to make the lemonade. You will run the lemonade stand, record your data, and then analyse how much money you made or lost.

Remember that even if the lemonade you sell tastes really good, you may not always sell a lot. Sometimes the weather affects how much lemonade people purchase. You will get to see a weather forecast, but remember that weather forecasts are not always accurate.

Before you start playing, you will read directions that will show you how to start and operate your lemonade stand. As you run your business, you will use an Office Excel data collection spreadsheet to record your decisions, your data, and your outcomes. When the game is over, you will write a report about the reasons you made a profit or the reasons you did not.

Student activities

Follow the steps below to guide your students through this lesson plan.

  • Step 1: "Run your lemonade stand and record your data"
  • Step 2: "Analyse your profits and losses"
Lesson extension activities
  • Ask students to use one of the charts in Office Excel to help them visualise and analyse their data.
  • Ask students to write a strategy handbook for running a successful lemonade stand.
  • Ask students to create an ad campaign to attract more customers to their business.

Conclusion

Assess students on their data collection and their final reflection. They should use mathematical terms and draw conclusions by reviewing their data.

Tips

How a business goes sour

Ask students to name some factors beyond those included in the game that could affect a real-life lemonade stand. For example, would it matter where the lemonade stand is located? Why? What about the way the staff treats customers and handles complaints?

Software and materials needed

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Internet Explorer

Calculating profits student guide

Excel data collection sheet

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