Literature Connection:

Pigs Will Be Pigs By Amy Axelrod

Mathematical Strand:



Students will be able to correctly plan and calculate the total amount of money needed for specific items ordered from a given menu of foods

Grade level:


Lesson created by:

Marla Schmidt, Lee Elementary School, Manhattan, KS

Lesson Description:


  • The book Pigs Will Be Pigs by Amy Axelrod. Individual copies for students of the menu itself listed in the book; paper and pencil.

1. Launch the lesson---Engage. Read aloud to the students the story, Pigs Will Be Pigs, by Amy Axelrod.

2. Discuss the story together. Let students share the situation where the pigs plan to eat together. Note the menu items and the cost of each individual item.

3. Allow students to make correct combinations of food items and the calculated cost for each example.


4. Have students share experiences of eating out together with family or friends. Discuss items on menus and appropriate cost for different foods. If combinations of foods are requested, how does one go about finding the total cost? What if more than one person orders the exact same item on the menu? How can that cost be determined?

5. Discuss the cost of the items ordered and be sure to include the extra amount needed for tax. Should one also consider a tip for service? Continue discussion as a whole class.


6. Allow students to share their findings with each other. Compare answers. Ask why correct calculation is important when it comes to monetary concepts. Share the real life extension of obtaining money to spend, through earnings, allowances, etc.

7. What decision-making processes are used when spending money?

8. In our economic world, share ideas for being the owner of the restaurant. What skills would be necessary for the business to be successful?

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Copyright 2001 S.Ma.R.T.Books and Kansas State University