This learning strategy offers an efficient and effective technique for teaching inventory in the introductory financial accounting course. It is motivated by the belief that many students memorize how to calculate the cost of goods sold and ending inventory under different cost flow assumptions, but that few understand the subject. This fundamental lack of understanding prohibits them from fully appreciating other issues, such as the difference between the physical flow and the cost flow assumption, the relevance of the cost flow assumption when computing cost of goods sold and income, and the irrelevance of the cost flow assumption when computing cash flow unless taxes are considered. Our learning strategy involves a convenience store selling three bottles of water. Inventory flow, cash flow, and the calculations of cost of goods sold, income, and ending inventory are illustrated under the first-in, first-out method; the last-in, first-out method; the weighted-average method; and specific identification.

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