Tell the students to put away all books, electronic devices, calculators, pens or pencils. For this activity you want them to use the best calculators they have…their minds!

Begin by writing a salary on the board. You can start with easy numbers that are divisible by 12 months. Let’s use the example, $48,000. Ask students to think about this salary by the month, week, and day. They should be able to use mental math to get the answers $4000 a month, $1000 a week, and $200 per day.

Once they start thinking along these lines, use different salaries to get them thinking about the month, week, and day amounts.

Begin with numbers that are easily divisible by 12 and then graduate to amounts that are not as easily divisible.

If you give them $100,000 as an example, students should be able to estimate that $96,000 is divisible by 12. Once they get the answers for the $96,000 salary they should be able to figure out how to give an estimate for the additional $4000 earned.

Once students have done quite a few examples, try giving them an example where they have to compute the amount of tax they’ll have to pay on these salaries. For example, if the tax bracket is 15% on a salary of $48,000 how much approximately would be paid in tax?

This activity is also a great springboard for having students think about salaries in different countries or for different types of work. You can also download a PDF version of this game to file away for later here on my site or on TeachersPayTeachers