Budgeting and Food Inequity within Canada

Junior (Age 9 – 12)

Curriculum Goal

Junior: Number

  • Represent and solve problems involving the addition and subtraction of whole numbers and decimal numbers, using estimation and algorithms.

Junior: Data

  • Collect data from different primary and secondary sources to answer questions of interest that involve comparing two or more sets of data.
  • Display the data in the graphs with proper sources, titles, and labels, and appropriate scales; and justify their choice of graphs.
  • Analyze different sets of data presented in various ways by asking and answering questions and drawing conclusions about the data
  • Make convincing arguments and informed decisions.

Junior: Financial Literacy

  • Estimate and calculate the cost of transactions involving multiple items priced in dollars and cents, including sales tax, using various strategies.


  • Students should be familiar with money notation, computation, and foundational graphs (e.g., bar graphs).


  • Grocery store flyers (online)
  • Calculators
  • Computers


  • Inform students they have $20 to buy ingredients to make dinner for their family. Provide students with flyers from local grocery stores.
  • Have students repeat the activity using a flyer for a grocer that caters to a different demographic, but also somewhat local. It is important that the two stores have differing prices.
  • Engage students in discussion about why price differences exist; consider topics of immigration, socioeconomic status/poverty, etc.
  • Have students locate the grocery stores on Google Maps. Ask what they notice regarding the locations of the stores.
  • Introduce students to the cost of food in Nunavut, which is significantly higher than elsewhere in Canada. The video provides a good overview of the cost disparity.
  • Have students compare the price of specific grocery items (i.e., cereal, milk, bananas, etc.) between their local stores and the grocery stores in Nunavut.
    • Have students graph these costs so that the differences are visible.
  • Discuss the underlying causes of the drastic cost differences between Northern and Southern Canada.

Look Fors

  • Can students identify reasons why the cost of items differ between the two grocery options?
  • Do students consider economic reasons for the price difference?
  • Do students consider socioeconomic reasons for the price difference?
  • When students graph the data, are they able to identify patterns in the price difference of items?
  • Do students attempt to come up with ways to bring the cost of groceries down in Northern Canada?

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