Money in India: Comparison Shopping
by Marjorie Fendt

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Grades: 3-4

Suggested Curriculum Areas: Math and Social Studies

Goals: Children will be exposed to a monetary system different from their own. In addition they will learn to exchange currencies between two monetary systems.

· Children will use one or more resources (newspaper, bank, web) to find the daily exchange rate of dollars to rupees.
· Children will compare prices of items sold in India with prices of similar items sold in the U.S.
· Children will practice the necessary mathematical functions to find comparison.

Background Information for Teachers:

Included in this lesson plan are actual receipts/records of transaction by teachers who were part of a Fulbright-Hayes Group Project Abroad Program to Tamil Nadu, India in the summer of 2003.

Background Information for Students

India is a country in South Asia. Like the U.S., it is a democracy. Also like the U.S., India is made up of different states. English, as you know, is a unifying language in the U.S. India has two unifying languages, Hindi and English, though there are many other languages in addition to these two. Another factor, which unifies all the Indian states, is their common monetary system. The Indian money system is based on the rupee (as ours is based on the dollar).

Pictures of Rupees website

Amount of Time: 2 lessons

Materials needed: Receipts of transactions from India (these can easily be made into worksheets or transparencies)

Power point of shops

Day 1

1. Brainstorm classroom or community resources where information about exchange rates could be accessed. Break into groups with parent help and go on a search to find the exchange rate of dollars to rupees (classroom newspapers, office speakerphone to call bank, computer lab to access information on-line, etc.).

2. Regroup. As a whole group, have each child make a chart in their notebook which lists the comparisons rupees to dollars like this:

Rupees (rps)
Dollars ($)
45 rps
90 rps
135 rps
180 rps
225 rps

As the teacher you decide how high the chart should go. Can children explain where all the numbers in chart come from?

3. Now use the sample receipts. Have children work in pairs or alone. Children will be utilizing two mathematical operations for each sample receipt. They will be totaling rupees spent for each transaction and converting the total into dollars.

4. Assign students the job of bringing in real receipts over the next 2-3 days or going to a store and writing down prices of things they normally buy or items similar to those on the Indian receipt samples. (May wish to compare how prices on “daily necessities” differ between countries.)

Day 2 (several days later)

1. Make a worksheet with receipts you’ve collected or have students work in groups of 2-4 and pass out several receipts per group (cut off or black out totals).

2. This time students will total the dollar amount and convert the amount to rupees.

3. Correct work and discuss.
· Was it fun?
· When would this skill be useful? Why?
· Do you want to learn more?
· Is there a time or place we could put this knowledge to work for us?
· If you did not enjoy, why not?
· How do prices of goods compare between Appleton and Madurai, India?
· Etc., etc.

Extension Ideas

- The experience could continue with setting up a grocery store or other “selling place.” All things could be priced in rupees. Transactions should be written down so that later the buyer could determine how much they spent in dollars.

- Indian grocery stores are similar, but much smaller than American groceries. They also do not sell produce or milk.

- Children could otherwise set up bazaar stalls. Often at bazaars, there are similar shops right next to each other. Perhaps five fabric stores in a row, then a CD shop or two and more fabric stores and a tiffin or vessel shop. See photos in slide show of shops in India.

- If you divide the class into ½ buyers and ½ sellers, the sellers will have to decide how they will get customers to their shops. After all, so many shops are selling the same thing! (Students can “sell” items from personal collections from home, i.e. Beanie Babies, Pokeman cards, Hot Wheels, paperback books, collections, etc.).

- Another extension for older children grades 5-7: After experiencing what deals the dollars can buy in India, students could research, prepare presentations, and lead discussions about wages, income, poverty and the distribution of wealth.



A.4.1. Children will be able to justify strategies used in solving problems related to (rupees and) and dollars.

A.4.5. Children will be able to explain solutions clearly and logically (oral or written) and show (explain) their work.

B.4.5. Children will, in problem solving situations, select and efficiently use appropriate computational procedures, such as: +, -, x, ÷. Using a calculator, applying algorithm use estimation, etc.

B.4.7. In problem solving situations involving money, children will add and subtract decimals.

D.4.4. Children will determine measurements directly using standard tools to these suggested degrees of accuracy: monetary value to dollars and cents (and rupees).


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