Lesson: Candy Math



Author: Marc Sheehan

Grade Level: Second

Subject: Math

Time: 40-45 minutes

Idea Suggested By: Frances Fleischmann and Sue Nygard, Lister Elementary (Tacoma, WA)

Materials: Small bags of multi-colored candies (e.g. M&Ms, Skittles, jellybeans), graph/sorting sheets, question sheets, pencils

Objectives: The students will sort candies by color. They will also complete various addition problems using candy pieces and complete a graph using those candies. The students will also compare and contrast selected amounts of candies.

Introduction: Each student will receive a small bag of candy, a graphing worksheet, and question/sorting sheet before the lesson begins. Then I will explain what they will do first: they will open the bags of candy and sort the candies by color. They will be able to eat the candies later, but they must wait until told to do so. (I have found that allowing the students to eat one piece first helps to stave off their eating of all of the pieces.) Students are to be told they should not trade their candies with classmates until after the assignments are completed.

Procedure: I will run through an example for the students, showing them what they will do before the candies are handed out. The students will open the bags, sort the candies in preparation for a graphing assignment. The students will make a graph of all the different-colored pieces they have. Once the graphs are done, the students will answer the questions (addition or subtraction) on their question-and-answer worksheets. Samples: how many more blue candies than red candies do you have? How many red candies and yellow candies do you have?

Worksheet Samples: You can make worksheets yourself that fit your own purpose. I've made some samples to use as well. They can be accessed below.

Question/Sorting Sheet
Graphing Sheet

Closure/Modifications: Once the assignment is completed, the students will be able to eat (and trade) their candies. They are allowed to compare their graphs to those completed by classmates in order to see how the graphs differ. Modifications for this lesson include focusing on counting, focusing on color identification, using larger graphs, and allowing for someone (peer or adult) to assist with the counting, sorting, recording, and coloring.

Assessment: The worksheets will be collected to see if the graphs are correct and if the questions have been answered correctly. Each question sheet will be a bit different, as the amount of candy pieces will vary by bag.




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