Currency, The Price is Right (All years, academic)
Name of Teacher: Steven Swanson
Class/Grade/Language Level: All grades, all levels
Textbook and specific lesson: N/A
Goal: To introduce students to and familiarize them with using a foreign currency
Preparation: A PowerPoint, worksheets
Class time: 50 minutes
Because I have received many compliments on this lesson, and it has generally been in my opinion one of my better lessons, I thought I would share this, as it was inspired by this Wiki and could easily be adopted by any ALT. The core of this lesson is not my idea but came from another post on this Wiki, The Price is Right by Rochelle Odon, which I am very grateful for. This lesson is slightly different in that it combines a lesson on currency and the game, The Price is Right, into a single lesson. The currency I use is the American dollar, but it could be done in the same format with whatever your native currency is.
Write the word 'currency' on the board. Ask the students what they think it means. Explain, quiz them on the currencies of other countries.
Introduce American paper and coin currency
Here I go through each bill and coin that the US Treasury uses. I have the students guess who the people are and talk a bit about them, giving a little US history lesson, but keeping it very brief and very simple. Once we get to the coins, the students will write down the names of each coin and the values. I have the students repeat the name of each coin after me, and have them guess the values. I write the names of coins and their values on the board. When I write the values on the board I write both, for example, $0.10 and 10 cents. Before giving the names and values of the coins, I explain how to read US monetary values, writing a few values on the board and having the students read them, to ensure we're all on the same page.
The students will now put their newly acquired knowledge to good use, and work through the coin quiz. This is a good opportunity for you to walk around and check their understanding and correct any errors that they make. There are two common errors that students will make - 1. They will spell 'cents' with an s, as in 'sents' and 2. They will leave off the s entirely (50 cent, 185 cent). Some students will write in cents, answering in 185 cents, and others will write $1.85, and I personally thought either was acceptable and didn't try to guide them to either one as a preferred answer. Once most of them have finished I will review the answers with the class.
We now move on to the listening portion of the lesson. This is entirely the same as it is in Rochelle's lesson - just reading the values and having the students circle and write what they hear. The quiz focuses on recognizing the difference between the difference between 14 and 40, 15 and 50, etc., which is difficult for the students. Before the quiz I give them a tip, which is that Americans, when they say 50, say fifdee, for 40, fordee, and so on, using a d sound instead of a t. They need to listen for the d, or the t, and I make a point to emphasize this difference during the quiz, so that it is quite clear (even with this explanation and emphasis, students will still confuse the two, which just goes to show how difficult it is). We stop to review the answers after the first section (the circling) and then move on the next, where the students write what they hear. The answers and values I used for my worksheet were as follows: 1. $0.50 2. $0.12 3. $0.13 4. $2.80 5. $0.19 6. $5.17 ; 1. $5.87 2. $13.30 3. $12.15 4. $480.14.
The Price is Right
Now for the fun part :) Have the students make groups - the less groups the better, but if the groups are too large then it's hard for them to settle on a price. I think there couldn't be more than 6 students in a group, but even 6 may be too many. If you have more groups you have to be more timely in collecting their answers, but more students will also get a chance to speak when giving their answers, so, whichever you prefer. At this point in the lesson there is not much time, and you will likely only get through 3, possibly 4 rounds, so it's also unlikely that a single group will score twice, and so there probably won't be a clear winner at the end, but no biggie, they get plenty of satisfaction winning the round. At the beginning before we start playing, I show them the opener from an episode of the Price is Right, to set the mood - it's a good one from the late 80's and its got Bob Barker and his signature “I welcome youuuu to The Price is Right!” (I’m assuming he does that every time, I’ve never actually seen The Price is Right..) The game itself is simple - I show items on screen, the students guess the price, the group who gets the closest without going over wins. You can choose whatever items you like. The Justin Bieber CD is an entertaining pick because all groups will guess too high and will be astounded by the actual price, and then you can talk about how no-one in the US buys CDs anymore and they're cheap. In the larger classes you will only have time for maybe 3 items, but in the smaller classes the lesson can move faster and they may be able to get through more. Before you start, you should give the students the exchange rate between your currency and Japanese yen. From US dollars to Japanese yen the math is pretty easy, 100 yen is slightly less than $1.00, but if the conversion is more difficult for your currency the students may need longer to give their answers. Also, when choosing items be careful about using the real price vs. a sale price - if you find an item that was on sale for a ridiculously cheap price, the students won't have known that and will probably guess near the actual value of the item. When students give their answers I do not accept the answer unless it is given properly - so if a student says, "14.", I will stare at them expectantly until they give me the accompanying "dollars", or if they say "14 dollar" then I make a point to have them say it correctly, with the 's', "14 dollars ."
That's the whole lesson. Even if you don't follow this lesson exactly hopefully it can give you some ideas for a similar lesson of your own. Again thank you to Rochelle for the original post!!