Grade: Elementary
Subject: Mathematics

#2024. Graphing Skittles

Mathematics, level: Elementary
Posted Tue Nov 21 12:17:54 PST 2000 by Julie Adams (
Robles Elementary, Tampa, FL
Activity Time: 40 - 50 minutes
Concepts Taught: to solve problems by making and using data from a bar graph

Which color are there more/fewer of?
Graphing Skittles (or M&M's)


To solve problems by making and using data from a bar graph.

Materials for each child

hand-out of graph
paper towel
small bag of skittles

Materials for teacher
overhead projector
wet-erase pen
bag of skittles
paper towel


35-40 minutes


Review "bar graphing using data" on overhead projector.
Children will sit on carpet facing overhead projector.
Tell the students that we want to find out which color this class likes more and which color this class likes least from red, orange, yellow, green, purple (the colors in either Skittles or M&M's).
Have students think about which color they like best from the colors we have to choose from.
Ask each student which color they chose and mark it on the overhead in the proper column/box.
After collecting data, model bar graphing.
Fill in one square in the proper column for each color chosen.
When graphing is complete, analyze the graph with the children. Ask children which color has the most votes and which color has the fewest.

Explain that the children are going to be making their own bar graphs.
Demonstrate the following for one column on the overhead.
Tell the children that they will each receive a blank graph and a bag of candy.
First, they will need to separate the candy into groups by color.
For each color of candy, they will need to fill in a square on their graph in the corresponding column using the same color of crayon.
When they are finished, they are to raise their hand so the teacher can check their work and ask a few questions (i.e. which color has more/fewer, how many are there of _______ color, etc.).
Once their work has been checked, enjoy the candy!!!
When everyone is finished, have the children discuss their results with the rest of the class. Did everyone have the same results?


Individual assessment with children after they have finished their bar graphs.

Does their data and bar graph compare?

Do they understand the concepts of more and fewer when looking at a bar graph?

Can they determine the amount in a column without counting?

Extension Activity

Create a whole class bar graph of all of the candy.
Which color were there more/fewer of out of the entire class?