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Shopkeepers of the world, unite!

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Here's an activity I pulled out of the hat when faced suddenly with twenty five, rather than my usual ten students.
for this activity, the kids will need to be familiar with numbers up to one hundred, and the names of various foods, fruit and vegetables etc. You need food flashcards and a large wad of photocopied or paper money (preferably in local currency). Give each child a flashcard with an item of food on it and then wave your wad of cash at them (this invariably draws their attention). Choose a bright spark and approach them as though they were a shopkeeper. Ask them "How much is this apple/banana/bar of chocolate?" Let the child decide on a price and either pay for your item or say "No thankyou". If you like, bargain with them to lower the price by saying "That's too expensive! How about five yuan?" Encourage them to continue bargaining until you both agree a price. Make sure they get the correct money and you get your shopping. After modelling the dialogue for a while, encourage some of the brighter students to continue in pairs. Then, dole out equal amounts of fake moolah to the kids - who will really perk up at this point - and tell them to go shopping! Encourage them to bargain by announcing that the winner is the person who makes the most money! All the budding shopkeepers should go crazy at this point and the air should soon be thick with the sound of frantic haggling. Monitor carefully to make sure all are participating. At the end, go round asking the kids to count out their takings for the day. Give a small prize to the biggest capitalists; or just warm congratulations if you're not into bribes. Make sure none of the fake currency makes it onto the local black market!

Kirsten
EF Shanghai
email: irstenk@softhome.net

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