Project-Based Learning: Start a Lemonade Stand

Lemonade Stand Project-based Learning
Lemonade Stand Project-based Learning

I received such fantastic feedback regarding my lemonade stand project pictures last week, and a lot of requests for a more detailed run-down of the project. Here is a detailed overview of the project, with a few new pictures! Remember that the resource that includes the printable student pages and teacher guides is available here.

Make sure you view the YouTube video that’s available on this resource!

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The project started with my class watching a great How-to video on starting a lemonade stand. They wrote down notes while they watched it so that they could remember what to do later! The project steps I had laid out incorporated most of the steps in the video, with decimals & fraction operations! They loved the video so much we watched it twice!

This project begins with a practical business plan. I have a lot of discussion points ready to go for each step, and this part of the project is very discussion-heavy. We watch videos and talk about all sorts of business and entrepreneur topics.

Next came the math. We spent several days using our 5th grade fraction & decimal knowledge to setup our lemonade stand business. To differentiate, we “hired” accountants to check our Math and I had a small group going where kids could come back to get some extra help. When we got into multiplying mixed numbers, we did A LOT of modeling! My students saw that multiplication is repeated addition, and knowing this, they could group the whole numbers and fractions together to get their answers.

Lemonade Stand Project-based Learning
After 8 days of preparation, we were ready to present our business plans to our peers. When we first did these projects, we had absolutely no technology available. Students brought in poster boards, toilet paper rolls, lemons, limes, cardboard… all sorts of items to build with! I purchased a few large posters myself and grabbed some butcher paper from the office. Thanks to some Donors Choose projects and help from the community, we were able to create videos and print posters for “Shark Tank” style pitches. During the pitches, the audience had to rate each pitch from 1 (would never invest) to 10 (would fight to invest). One year we even had groups of “sharks” go one group at a time to make offers!
I LOVE when I hear about other teachers using project-based learning in their classrooms. Below are some 2-dimensional projects that another teacher was gracious enough to let me take pictures of. There are so many ways to have students represent their math! Students can make posters, videos, and even 3D models of their lemonade stand. I’ve seen many students go above and beyond to research additional business concepts to start their own lemonade stand at home. I’ve also heard from teachers that created a lemonade stand at school to raise money for a class trip! There are so many ways you can go with this project, and so many other subjects that this connects to.
LemonadePBL-1 LemonadePBL-2 LemonadePBL-3 LemonadePBL-4

Project-based learning is a great way to push students to apply the difficult math concepts they learn in 6th grade, while encouraging them to think about how they will use Math in the future. I know that a few of my students will go on to start their own businesses, and you can bet that they will remember what they need to do it from this 5th grade project!

Don’t forget to connect this awesome Math project to your other content areas. There are many, many more in the downloadable resource!

  • Read about kids creating businesses in the news
  • Read about how something works or is made to come up with a business plan to start a company – this is tailored to each student’s individual interests!
  • Write about the processes in this project.
  • Write about a business plan.
  • Learn about the history of entrepreneurship
  • Learn about laws and taxes
  • Create a scientific experiment to find the perfect lemonade recipe