Attached is an activity on choosing the best cell phone plan.  Students are required to make a cost chart for each plan, find a mathematical equation for each plan and graph each plan on a coordinate grid.  In addition, students will describe which plan is best for their group and then describe which plan is best for other people (depending on how many minutes per month an individual uses).


This activity works best for students arranged in small groups of 2 or 3 students.  The answer to what cell phone plan is “best” can vary (depending on minutes).  I like that students must justify which plan is best, and I am hoping that not all groups will choose the same plan as the “best.”


I haven’t run this activity yet, but once I do, I will add to this discussion to describe how students did.


Students will be required to display their chart & graph on flip chart paper and present their findings to the class. I feel that students will have multiple solution strategies while explaining their justification of which plan to choose.



Please provide feedback if you try this activity in your class as well.




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Stuart, I have done an activity similar to this in my classroom.  Be aware that students will want to "bundle" plans ... because they are used to texting and family plans.  The less "options" with bundling the better.  I did two days with this concept (because I prefer using real-world examples as homework).  So I did just straight plans to introduce the concept, then I did "family" plans for homework ... then moved into the bundling as a warm-up the next day.  Took some effort on my part to find plans out there ... but it was well worth it.  I then made them write a paragraph to explain which plan they chose and why.  I will try to find my info and see if I am able to get it to you somehow.
I teach personal finance and have a similar assignment, and find that students, as you stated, always want to there any way you could get me the info also
When the new school year starts, I wants to use this idea to explore equations. I think this is a great plan not only to teach algebra, but it will give the students an idea of being a financially responsible adult. I found something similar to this on It is easy to use, easy to modify to fit a particular situation. I agree with with that it would work best with groups.


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