Would Your Students Be Surprised by Sales Tax? Try This Lesson

Practical percentages!

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Flay lay of 'Calculating Sales Tax' lesson

I think we can all remember the first time we went to the store to buy something with our own money only to find out we didn’t have enough because of tax. You can head this experience off at the pass—and give your class some great real-world practice with percentageswith this “Calculating Sales Tax” lesson for grade 6-8 students. It’s all part of our Adventures in Math resource center!

What’s in the “Calculating Sales Tax” lesson?

This lesson kicks off by activating prior knowledge  and showing students a sample receipt. You’ll also explain how states use the money generated. After demonstrating how to calculate sales tax from different states, invite students to practice on their own using the “Figure Out the Sales Tax!” activity sheet.


  • Develop an understanding of personal financial literacy, including budgeting, spending, saving, and charitable giving.
  • Solve problems using the four operations with whole numbers and decimals to hundredths.
  • Use proportional relationships to solve multi-step ratio and percent problems.
  • Solve problems involving ratios, rates, and percentages, including multi-step problems that use percent increase and percent decrease, and financial literacy problems.

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