Bagging Groceries

By Perkins eLearning on May 19, 2014

This activity has been revised and was originally created by Susan N. Edwards and published in the Perkins Activity and Resource Guide (1st edition, 1992).  The second edition is available for purchase.

For students who want to prepare for life after school, or even for a part-time job, learning to bag groceries is a worthwhile skill to have. This activity teaches students to understand packaging, inserting, organizing, problem solving and weight discrimination. Lessons include Independent Living Skills, Career Development, Math, and Social Skills.


  • Grocery bags (both paper and plastic)

  • Food containers and boxes (cereal, milk, yogurt, etc.)

  • Nonperishable items: cans of soup, paper towels, laundry detergent, etc.


Provide empty grocery bags and groceries on a table. Ask the students to stand next to the table and place the groceries in the bag, one at a time. The following concepts should be taught:

  • Weight discrimination

  • Heavy and light items

  • Where to place items

Students should learn to place heavier items on the bottom of the bag and the lighter, more fragile items on the top. Allow the students to learn experientially about heavy and fragile items. Have them pick up a can of soup and an egg. Demonstrate what happens when a bottle of laundry detergent is placed on a package of crackers or eggs. They may break. The student should also be aware that the bag should not be too heavy to carry.


Set up a student store. Have one student work as the cashier and another student as the grocery bagger.

Hint: Take the students shopping at a grocery store. Have the students bag their own groceries.

Total Life Learning by Wendy Bridgeo,‎ Beth Caruso,‎ & Mary Zatta

Cover of Total Life Learning

The Total Life Learning curriculum was developed for students ages 3 to 22 who are blind, visually impaired including those students who have additional disabilities or are deafblind. The focus is on the development of life and career goals that enable student to maximize independence, self-determination, employability, and participation in the community.