Use Percentage and Proportion to Determine Take-Home Pay: Calculate a Celebrity’s Paycheck

Aligned to standards 7.NS.A.1d: Add and Subtract Rationals, 7.NS.A.2: Multiply and Divide Rationals, and 7.RP.A.3: Multi-step Problems using Proportions.

Lebron James nets a $20,000,000 paycheck every year — but as we all know, he doesn’t get to take all those zeros home. Given his income tax bracket, Lebron must part with a significant portion of his income. Exactly how much do you think makes it into his bank account?

We’re featuring a standards-aligned mini-project that teaches students to apply their knowledge of percentage and proportion to learn about income taxation rate. Our differentiated and rigorous resources will help students of all levels achieve an understanding of how taxation works.

The complete project plan is available for download here in Word or PDF format.

Here’s an overview of the activities you’ll find in the project plan:

  • Students will investigate celebrity incomes and their corresponding income tax brackets.
  • Students will learn about tax distribution, annual incomes, and use the federal tax brackets to calculate the total taxes paid per year by salary.
  • Students will use their learnings and calculations to complete a tax analysis template and then create an informational poster about taxes.

Here’s a quick look at what’s included in the downloadable project packet:

  • Engaging hook — Students will watch a video that explains a paycheck from the perspective of a paycheck and practice calculating net incomes based on a person’s tax bracket.
  • Tax analysis — Once students have grasped the meaning of tax brackets, it will be their turn to explain what taxes are
  • Informational poster — The mini-project culminates in an informational poster that students will put together to inform others about income taxes, their benefits, and why they’re important
The complete project plan is available for download here in Word or PDF format.