Budgeting and Food Inequity within Canada


Grade 4

Number Sense and Numeration

  • Represent monetary amounts to $100
  • Solve problems that arise from real-life situations and relate to the magnitude of whole numbers up to 10,000
  • Add and subtract by making simulated purchases and providing change for amounts up to $100, using a variety of tools

Data Management and Probability

  • Read, interpret, and draw conclusions from primary and secondary data presented in charts, tables and graphs
  • Compare similarities and differences between two sets of data using a variety of strategies

Grade 5

Number Sense and Numeration

  • Solve problems that arise from real-life situations and that relate to the magnitude of whole numbers up to 100,000
  • Solve problems involving the addition, subtraction, and multiplication of whole numbers using a variety of mental strategies

Data Management and Probability

  • Compare two related sets of data, using a variety of strategies.
    • For example, representing data using tally charts, stem-and-leaf plots, double bar graphs, or broken-line graphs; by determining measures of central tendency (i.e. mean, median, and mode)

Grade 6

Number Sense and Numeration

  • Represent, compare, and order whole numbers and decimal numbers from 0.001 to 1,000,000 using a variety of tools
  • Use estimation to solve problems involving the addition and subtraction of whole numbers and decimals

Data Management and Probability

  • Select an appropriate type of graph to represent a set of data
  • Graph data using technology, and justify the choice of graph


Students will be learning to budget in this mock grocery shopping scenario. This is a great transition from focusing on number sense and numeration to data management and probability. Students should be familiar with money notation and computation, as well as foundational graphs, such as bar graphs.


  • Grocery store flyers from various neighbourhoods
  • Calculators
  • Computer
  • Access to Internet


  • Provide your students with different flyers from local grocery stores.
  • Inform students they have $20 to buy ingredients to make dinner for their family.


  • Have your students repeat the activity using a flyer for a grocery 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 these price differences exist. If they need help, suggest they consider topics of immigration, socioeconomic status/poverty, etc.
  • Have students locate the grocery stores on Google Maps. Ask students about what they notice regarding the locations of the stores.
  • Consider introducing the students to the cost of food in Nunavut. The cost of food in Northern Canada is significantly more than elsewhere in the country.
    • The following video gives a nice overview of the cost disparity in Nunavut:
  • Have students compare the cost of specific grocery items (i.e. cereal, milk, bananas, etc.) between the grocery stores they investigated at the beginning of this lesson and the grocery stores in Nunavut.
    • Have students graph these costs so that the differences are visible.


  • Discuss why the cost difference is drastically different between Nunavut and most of Canada.