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Are coupons always a good deal? Retailers like JCPenney use coupons to offer their shoppers great-looking deals, but there’s a catch: Before putting an item on sale, a store often first raises its price.

In this lesson, students reason with percents and proportions to evaluate enticing coupons and debate whether retailers should be allowed to raise the price of items in order to then put them on sale.

Students will

  • Use percents to calculate sale prices after a discount
  • Given a new price and a percent discount, use proportional reasoning to determine the original price

Before you begin

Students should be able to solve basic problems involving percents, including percent increase and decrease.

Common Core Standards

Content Standards
Mathematical Practices


Broderick the Coupon Kid, J. C. Penney, Ron Johnson