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Novel Games: Super Grocery Shopper

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

More Ways

Computer(s), Internet access, projector (for class presentation)

Activity Description

The goal in the game is to spend as little money as possible while maintaining a balanced diet in the whole week. Each day the player will be given a certain budget to purchase food ingredients in order to fulfill the calorie goal of that day. During the game, the player will lose if the available budget is not enough to purchase the items and cannot fulfill the calorie goal of the day, so the player must spend money wisely and stay healthy.


  1. The site's games require the latest Adobe Flash Player. Make sure that it is installed on the computer(s) you plan to use with your class. It can be downloaded and installed from the Adobe site.
  2. Make sure that the site is not blocked at your school before using it with students.
  3. Preview and play the game yourself in order to anticipate students' difficulties.
  4. Note key vocabulary that may be unfamiliar to students and plan how you will teach these words before having students play the game.
  5. Decide whether you will play the game with students as a whole-class activity or have students play the game individually or in pairs in a computer lab setting.
  6. Decide if you want to have prizes for the winning individuals/teams and if so, bring those to class.


  1. Either visit the Example Web Site (link above) for a whole-class review, projecting the game from the instructor's computer. Alternatively, provide the link to the site to your students via a class Web site, an e-mail with the link, or a bookmark on each computer.
  2. Then either play the game as a group activity by selecting Start or demonstrate to students how to play the game. Then assign students to complete the activity at their own computers.
  3. As a whole-class activity, select Start. When the game starts, the player receives $100 and can click to choose a desired food item so that it can be moved to the shopping cart. Select the shopping cart at the bottom of the screen to view the content page of the shopping cart, which is divided into two parts. The current items in the cart are displayed at the top.
  4. Click to remove any unwanted item. A food pyramid will be displayed at the bottom, which shows the current number of items belonging to each of the four food groups, namely Sugar and Fat, Meat/Fish/Milk/Dairy, Vegetables/Fruits, and Grains/Cereals from the top to the bottom. Choose the food items carefully according to the optimal proportion of each food group.
  5. When the diet is balanced, the "Healthy" message will appear under the pyramid. If the current food items bring an unbalanced diet, a warning message that writes "Unhealthy," "Harmful" or "Dangerous"
    will be shown, and the player will need to choose the appropriate items again. The current cost and the total amount of calories will be displayed on the right of the pyramid.
  6. Select the OK button to close the page, then accomplish the calorie goal shown on the board at the bottom left corner. The player may also like to purchase the specific ingredients of that day so as to receive bonus budget and points. Remember not to take too much time when choosing the items as they will be sold out after a certain time, and the game will be over if all products are gone.
  7. Select the Checkout button at the bottom right corner to end the shopping for that day. A summary which lists the available budget for the next day and the current score after counting the rewards and bonuses.
  8. Continue the process for the remaining days, and a report will shows the final score after the 7th day. A grade will also be given based on the accumulated score, the money saved, the number of days of balanced diet and the level of completeness of the bonus objectives.

Teacher Tips

  • While you can also download this game and install it in your computer so that you can play the game simply by clicking an icon on your desktop, we do not know if it comes "loaded" with things you may not want on your computer, so we would suggest you play it online or download at your own risk.
  • The game can be played in one class session even though the instructions say the game's objective is healthy and economical grocery shopping for one week.
  • Select the question mark in the top right of the game to see the instructions again at any point in the game.
  • Select the icon next to the question mark for audio control options, If you find the music/sounds annoying, and full-screen display.

More Ways

  • This Web site has other single player and multi-player games that would be appropriate for use with adult ESL classes. There are Educational Games  (world capitals, mapping/geography, shopping, vocabulary) as well as Thanksgiving games, puzzle, logic, sports, memory, picture puzzle, role playing, typing, driving, and word games, among others. Great activity to get class started or as a filler at the end of the class period.


  • Beginning High
  • Intermediate Low
  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced


Basic Communication

  • (1.8) Demonstrate financial literacy skills
  • (1.5) Understand how to manage household finances
  • (1.2) Use information to identify and purchase goods and services
  • (1.1) Use measurement and money

Basic Communication

  • (3.5) Understand basic principles of health maintenance

Basic Communication

  • (6.1) Compute using whole numbers
  • (6.0) Demonstrate pre-computation skills
  • (6.9) Use estimation and mental arithmetic

Basic Communication

  • (7.2) Demonstrate ability to use critical thinking skills
  • (7.3) Demonstrate ability to use problem-solving skills

Basic Communication

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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.