You are on page 1of 3



Write a profit equation for a simple business.
Solve equations numerically, graphically, and algebraically.
Solve inequalities numerically, graphically, and algebraically.

Graphing Calculator
Graphing Paper
Large Sheets of Poster Paper
1. Explain that the football team needs to raise money by selling hot
dogs and that the coach needs $450 for start-up costs and plans to
sell the hot dogs for $0.50 each. The start-up costs include the
purchase of 2,500 hot dogs, buns and condiments, and wages for the

Learning Activities:

1. Tell students that for now the class will focus on answering the
question of how many hot dogs the coach needs to sell in order to
make a profit.

2. Solicit student thoughts about the number of hot dogs he needs to
sell to break even.

3. Ask the class to devise a table that would produce information
about the problem. Students should state that the table should show
the number of hot dogs sold, the revenue made selling them, and the
profit earned by selling them.

4. Have students create the table, starting with 100 hot dogs sold
and increasing by increments of 100. The table should continue until
students find the break-even point.

5. Ask students to write formulas that can be used to find the
values for both the revenue and the profit.

6. Discuss students' formulas for each of the columns. Examples
may include:
Revenue = 0.50 x number of hot dogs sold
Profit = revenue - start-up costs.
Elicit that the formulas can also be written as: R = 0.50H and P =
0.50H - 450.



7. Inform students that to use a graphing calculator, the formulas
must be written using y and x for variables. This means the profit
formula would be written in the form y = 0.50x - 450. Discuss the
meaning of the 0.50 and the 450 in the equation.

8. Have the whole class create an electronic table using the
calculator. To do this, type the equation into the "y =" area of the
calculator. Then, set the table on the calculator to match the table
the students made on their papers.

9. Students should note that the table they made using the
calculator matches the table they made on paper. They should also
notice that the calculator's table continues indefinitely. Tell them they
just solved this problem using a numeric method that looks at tables
of values. Note that the break-even point occurs when 900 hot dogs
are sold.

10. Students will now find the break-even point using a graph.
Discuss possible values that they should select for the graph's scale.
Possibilities include: xmin = 0, xmax = 2500, xscl = 100, ymin = -500,
ymax = 800, and yscl = 100.

11. Ask students to determine which point on the graph represents
the break-even point. They should recognize that this is the point
where the line crosses the x-axis; it is located at (900, 0), and it
represents the fact that 900 hot dogs sold will bring a profit of $0.00.
Tell them they just solved the problem using a graphical method.

12. Students will now find the break-even point using algebra.
Elicit from the class that if they want to find the break-even point,
then they should let P = 0, and then solve the equation for H. For
P = 0.50H - 450
0 = 0.50H - 450
450 = 0.50H
900 = H
13. Point out that the three different methods of solving this
problem all produced the same solution. Ask students which method
they preferred and why.

14. Now, hand out the activity sheet that lists the coach's
questions for the class. The students should work together in groups,
answer the questions and prepare a presentation for one of the
questions. The students will need to answer all of the questions by
solving the problems using tables, graphs, and algebra. Two of the
questions involve solving an inequality, so students can see that
these three methods of solving equations also work for solving

15. Have students present their findings to the class.