Stocks and Shares

This task provides a simple introduction to the stock market. Students calculate the new prices for a variety of fictional shares based on daily percentage changes. This material can be used for a stand-alone lesson, but can also be used to introduce the basic concepts of the stock market before starting learners on a more realistic stock market simulation exercise, as described in ‘Suggested approaches’ below.

Prior knowledge

This task requires little more than the ability to calculate simple percentage changes. Students with experience of using spreadsheets could use these to record their results; alternatively, this exercise might provide a good opportunity to introduce spreadsheets. The suggested extension could involve more complicated calculations involving dealing costs, exchange rates, etc.

Relevance to Core Maths qualifications

  • AQA
  • C&G
  • Eduqas
  • Pearson/ Edexcel
  • OCR

Suggested approaches

The activity presented here is suitable for a whole-class introduction.

  • Students could work in pairs or small groups to make decisions about stock purchases and sales, and to carry out and record the required calculations.
  • Following this, you could extend the task by asking students to carry out their own simulation using real share prices.
  • For example, you could set a budget of £10, 000 and ask teams of students to select companies to invest in. They could record their portfolios using any of the many available online tools (e.g., and produce a report after a few weeks describing the performance of their portfolios (perhaps compared to a market index).
  • Tracking a realistic portfolio in this way could form the basis for a good homework assignment.


The PowerPoint presentation ‘Stocks and shares’ should be used as a whole-class introduction. It includes extensive notes and further suggestions on using the materials in class, including advice on developing a more substantial activity based on the same theme.


These materials were originally developed by Tom Carpenter.