Mathematics:
Currency Exchange
Summary: Using a formula
and the current exchange rate, students practice calculating prices
in dollars and yuan.
Minnesota Academic Standards Information
Subject Area Focus: Mathematics
Educational Level: Teachers may adapt the activity for the
various grade levels.
Intermediate, Middle
Middle (68) Level
Grade 7
 Demonstrate an understanding of rate of change graphically
and numerically.
 Apply arithmetic operations in the correct order to generate
equivalent algebraic expressions and to solve simple formulas
in realword and mathematical problems.
Grade 8
 Use algebraic operations to generate equivalent expressions,
and use proportional reasoning to solve realworld and mathematical
problems. Demonstrate the ability to manipulate an equation
by applying arithmetic operations to both sides to maintain
equivalence.
For the complete standard, see the Minnesota Academic Standards
web site at http://education.state.mn.us/mde/Academic_Excellence/Academic_Standards/index.html
Intermediate (45) Level
Grade 5
 Compute fluently and make reasonable estimates with fractions,
decimals, and whole numbers, in realworld and mathematical
problems. Understand the meanings of arithmetic operations
and how they relate to one another.
 Represent mathematical relationships using equations.
For the complete standard, see the Minnesota Academic Standards
web site at http://education.state.mn.us/mde/Academic_Excellence/Academic_Standards/index.html
LEARNING ACTIVITY
Directions
Objectives: To calculate rates in two different
currency systems using an exchange rate.
Preparation: None
Time Required: 1530 minutes; ongoing
Description
 Discuss what an exchange rate is and have students figure
out how to calculate with the exchange rates and do basic
calculations as illustrated on the student activity sheet.
Or, have students establish their own practice problems and
system for calculating them.
 Throughout the trip, check the student delegate entries
on the weblog to get the cost of particular
items purchased by the students on the trip. Then have your
students calculate the value of the purchases in U.S. dollars.
Consider having students collect information on the cost
of similar items in the Unites States to serve as comparisons. Use
this data to lead to discussion on topics such as multiplication,
exchange rates, international cost of living differences,
urban and rural cost of living differences, or international
trade. To focus on exchange rates, have students find the
current exchange rate each day and use that for their calculations.
Learning Resources: Student Activity Sheet
Federal Reserve Bank of New York Exchange Rates
http://www.ny.frb.org/markets/fxrates/noon.cfm
Yahoo Finance Currency Conversion
http://finance.yahoo.com/m3?u
Currency Exchange Rates
http://www.xrates.com
Printable Materials: Student Activity Sheet
Evidence of Learning: The following product(s)
supply evidence of student learning.
 Completed student activity sheet.
 Data collection and presentation/analysis.
Special Notes
Technology Integration:
Incorporate technology tools and resources in ways that enhance
and support teaching and learning.
Have students create a calculator or spreadsheet to track the prices
noted by student delegates or other research and calculate the currency
exchange and comparison to U.S. prices.
Accommodations
Change the activity to accommodate students with different needs,
knowledge and skills.
 Provide students with a form that includes blank spaces
for students to enter each day’s daily rate within
an existing formula.
 Create a spreadsheet template for students to use.
STUDENT ACTIVITY SHEET FOR CURRENCY
EXCHANGE ACTIVITY
In China, people use renmimbi as their money. In
Chinese, "renmimbi" means "people’s money". A
unit of this currency is called the yuan. The
symbol for the yuan looks like this: ¥
The travelers from Minnesota will have to go to a bank or
to a currency exchange to change their dollars into yuan in
order to buy things in China. The amount of yuan they
will get in exchange for their dollars depends on the exchange
rate. This exchange rate shows the relationship between
dollars and yuan, and changes every day. To find each
day’s exchange rate, you may go to a bank, find the listing
in a newspaper, or check a Web site.
Exchange rates can be presented from the perspective of either
currency. Here are the exchange rates from September
2, 2004.
U.S. Dollars in Yuan: 8.0935 This
means $1 = 8.0935 ¥
Yuan in U.S. Dollars: 0.1236 This
means 1 ¥ = $ 0.1236
Use the current exchange rates to calculate these values:
$2 = _______________
>$10 = ______________
$100 = _____________
$50 = ______________
10 ¥ = ______________
100 ¥ = _____________
1000 ¥ = ____________
50 ¥ = ______________
PRACTICE
Practice calculating from dollars to yuan and from yuan to
dollars. You may want to use a calculator or a spreadsheet. Find
today’s exchange rate for U.S. dollars and yuan.
Today’s Date: _________
Exchange Rates:
U.S. Dollars in Yuan: _________
Yuan in U.S. Dollars: _________
U.S. Dollars to Yuan
 How much would a $1 can of pop be in yuan? _____________ ¥
 How much would a $3.5 lunch be in yuan? _____________ ¥
 How much would a $150 television be in yuan? _____________ ¥
 How much would a $1,050 plane ticket be in yuan? _____________ ¥
Yuan to U.S. Dollars
 How much would 104 ¥ lunch be in dollars
? _____________ $
 How much would a 480 ¥ hotel room be in
dollars ? _____________ $
 A tour of the Forbidden City costs 60 ¥. How
much is that in dollars? _____________ $
 An audio tape to go with the tour costs 20 ¥.
How much is that in dollars? _____________ $
APPLICATION
Watch the MinnesotaChina Connection weblog for entries for
the prices of food and other items that the students buy while
on the trade mission with the Governor. Calculate the dollar
value of their purchases and compare the price to similar items
here at home.
Entire List of Curriculum Activities
