Monday, February 14, 2011

Cereal Toy Investigation

This activity introduces students to the use of sampling for advertising purposes.   It also generates a discussion about how advertisers use gimmicks to get people to buy more of their product.   Even young students will admit that they have been induced to buy fast food meals in order to collect all of the toys.

The Plan: Many companies are putting toys in their products to try to get customers to buy more.   The company that makes Cheerios thinks this might be a good way to get families to buy more boxes of Cheerios.   They will make six different toys and put one in each box of Cheerios and Multi-Grain Cheerios.   That way kids will want their parents to keep buying Cheerios until they have all six different toys. 

Mrs. Oats, the President in charge of Cheerios, asks you to help figure out if this is a good plan.   She knows that it will cost more to put toys in Cheerios.   She wants to be sure that families will really buy more boxes of Cheerios to get the toys.  Mrs. Oats asks you to find the answers to these two questions:
  • What toy should Cheerios put in the boxes to make families want to buy more?
  • How many boxes will a family buy to be sure they collect all 6 toys?

  • Ask students to think about how many boxes a family will have to buy to get all 6 different toys.
  • Have students share their "guess"-timates with the class and explain how they decided on that number.
  • Write all "guess"-timates on the board or chart paper for later reference. 
Read more about the Cereal Toy Investigation on Mathwire where you can view a step-by-step lesson plan and download materials needed for this data investigation.

1 comment:

  1. This is a cool idea, especially since we have been talking about advertising and the different ways companies try to get customers to choose their products. Can't wait to try this with my kids!