Ask children to read the first chapter of Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel A Little Princess, from "Sara stood near her father" to the end. How much will the things her father bought her compensate for his absence? Would pupils rather have great clothes or a brilliant toy? Why is buying Emily different from buying a doll or action figure today?
In chapter 23 of Good Wives, author Louisa May Alcott uses a shopping trip as the occasion for Professor Bhaer's proposal to Jo. How do the downtown settings, the fulfilment of the errands, and the parcels help convey the relationship?
Read the section of An Inspector Calls, by JB Priestley, in which the Inspector interrogates Sheila (Act I, from "Inspector: She had what seemed to her..."). Ask students to write an account of the day from the point of view of the store manager, or Eva Smith.
In chapter four of Sense and Sensibility Marianne is persuaded to distract herself with shopping ("Marianne rose the next morning ... turned away to the window"). Ask students to write a short essay entitled Retail Therapy - It Never Fails?