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Stock Market Math

Fifth Grade Probability & Statistics Activities: Stock Market Math

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Say the words “Pepsi”, “Nike” or “Google” around any fifth grader and the brand’s logo automatically pops into her head. Kids are bombarded by advertising everywhere, but many are unaware of the companies behind the brand names. So get her invested in her favorite company, and teach some statistics skills along the way!

Your fifth grader is probably quite familiar with the Internet and enjoys being on-line. Have her capitalize on her net-savvy skills by tracking a stock on an easy-to-navigate website, like msn.com. Your child will get an understanding of how the stock works by reading line graphs. This will further her ability to interpret graphs and let her apply math skills in a real-world situation. She will also learn more about her favorite brand – maybe now she’ll want to own a piece of it someday!

What You Need:

  • Stock graphs from msn.com (or a newspaper)
  • Paper and pencil

What You Do:

Day:
Stock Price:
Total Value of Shares:
Monday

 

 

Tuesday

 

 

Wednesday

 

 

Thursday

 

 

Friday

 

 

  1. Give your child a selection of popular brands from which to choose her stock. For example, Pepsico (PEP), Google (GOOG), Nike (NKE) or Apple (AAPL) are all well-known companies that are publicly traded.
  2. Explain that when a person buys a share of stock in a company, they buy a piece of the company and become a “shareholder.” Each share, or piece, of the company costs money and when the company makes money, so do the shareholders. Next, direct your child to msn.com. Enter the symbol for the stock (or enter the company’s name to get the symbol). Show her the cost (value) of one share of stock. Next, click on the “intraday” graph which shows the daily activity of the stock and how the value can quickly change. Click on the 5 day, 10 day, monthly, and yearly charts and read the graphs with your child. Note the changes in the stock’s price over the different time periods.
  3. Next, ask your child to become a “mock shareholder”. Ask her how much stock she would like to buy. For example, if she buys 1,000 shares of Pepsico for $68.00 per share, she would calculate the value of her shares by multiplying:

    $68.00 x 1000 = $68,800.00

  4. Have your child make a chart like the one below and follow the stock for a week.
  5. At the end of each day, she should check her stock, fill in the stock price and multiply the price by 1,000 to find the total value of her shares each day.
  6. On Friday, have your child do a final assessment of her stock’s value. Discuss with her what she learned from the activity. Also, ask her what she thinks she should do with her stock – sell, buy or become a “shareholder” in another company!

 

Brigid Del Carmen has a Master's Degree in Special Education with endorsements in Learning Disabilities and Behavior Disorders/Emotional Impairments. Over the past eight years, she has taught Language Arts, Reading and Math in her middle school special education classroom.

Updated on May 24, 2013
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