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The price is correct: activity requirements

Lesson description

“The price is correct” activity will teach students about inflation and price changes. Students will estimate price changes for various items and compare them to the actual changes to learn more about inflation.

Activity objective

Students will:

  • learn more about the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Consumer Price Index (CPI) program
  • better understand what inflation is, how it is measured, and how prices change over time.

BLS topics covered

  • Consumer Price Index (CPI)
  • Inflation
  • Average prices

Grade level

Secondary level

Time to complete

Approximately 30 minutes


Students will need

  • a pen or pencil
  • access to and CPI databases.


Using a printed version of the “The price is correct” activity document, have the students read about the Consumer Price Index and estimate the prices for selected items. Then have them estimate the current prices for those items and the prices for a month in a previous year. You may have the students complete the activity individually to see how close their estimates are in comparison with actual BLS average price data, or you may award points to the person (or team) with the closest estimates.

At the conclusion of the activity, the students are encouraged to discuss prices and inflation.

Activity assessment

At the conclusion of the activity, students should be able to:

  • briefly describe what the Consumer Price Index is
  • explain how inflation affects prices and how prices change over time
  • identify the government agency responsible for publishing information on inflation.

Other resources

You may visit to learn about the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program.

If you have any questions about this K-12 activity, or would like to provide feedback, please contact the BLS Division of Information and Marketing Services at 202-691-5200, or email us at

Last Modified Date: June 22, 2018