Count The Skittles

Vernita Smith Mahalia Jackson Elementary School
917 West 88th Street
Chicago IL 60620
(312) 535-3341


This mini-teach has been designed for first and second graders. You may alter
it in any way to accommodate your grade level. The main objective is to
introduce counting and graphing to students in a phenomenological manner. After
completion of this lesson students should feel very comfortable with counting
from one to twenty-five. In addition, they will become familiar with two types
of graphs: the pie graph and the bar graph.

Materials Needed:

Average size classroom of 20-25 students.

1. Crayons 5. Rulers-one for each student
2. Scissors 6. Tape measure
3. 2x2-Circles 7. Height chart
4. Two 16 oz. bags of skittles (colored candies)


Start out by asking students if they have ever eaten skittles before? (Answers
will vary). Than have the students name the five different colors of Skittles.
List them on the chalkboard. Pass out the uncut circles and have them cut
neatly along the line. Let the students tell you what shape they have. Ask how
many Skittles do you think will fit on the circle? (Answers will vary.) Ten
will fit. Have them try it and record their answers on the pie graph. The pie
graph is divided into ten sections. All students should color the graph
according to the colors they actually have on their circle. If a student has 3
reds (color 3 slices red), 2 yellows (color 2 slices yellow), etc. Then they
can record their answers in a fraction. i.e. 3/10, 2/10, 6/10. Do the same
procedure with the rulers. Have students tell you how many Skittles will fit
across a ruler. Twenty-four will fit. They will then fill out the bar graph
according to the colors they have. If students have 7 greens, (color 7 bars
green) 10 oranges (color 10 bars orange etc). Lastly, they will guess how tall
they are in Skittles. Have each student stand near the height chart and have
them record their answers. Each foot will be equal to 24 skittles. Therefore,
if the student is 3 feet tall, he/she is 72 skittles tall.

Performance Assessment:

When lesson is completed ask students if they enjoyed the activity. Then let
them tell you why. (Answers will vary.) From the pie and bar chart you can see
the percentage of colors which showed up the most and the least. With the
height chart you can determine who is the shortest person and the tallest person
in the classroom.
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