The Candy Monsters

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Students will be able to sort objects by colors and arrange their results in a simple vertical graph.

Big Idea

Students have had some exposure to graphing. Now they will continue to develop their understanding of how to create and use graphs to gather information.


5 minutes

For this lesson, you will need a copy of the classroom book, The Candy Monsters.  Print the file on a color printer.  I laminate the pages for durability and bind it with a comb binding machine.  Book rings would also work well.  There are monsters on the back page that need Velcro adhered to them.  Put the hook half of the Velcro on these pieces and the fuzzy part of the Velcro on the book pages where indicated.  Put the pieces on the open part of the page (not the graph) to begin the lesson.

I gather the students around my big chair and tell them that I have a fun story for them.  To help them make connections, I ask them if they like candy.  Of course, many hands go up in the air.  I ask them if they like LOTS of candy.  The excitement builds.  I then say to them, "We are going to read a story about four little monsters who like candy just like you.  Let's find out what happens with our monsters."

I read the first page of the story, "These are the candy monsters.  They eat candy every day.  Even though they are friends, they fight about who has the most candy."  I then read what the monsters are saying in the speech bubbles.  I like to use my monster voices to engage the students.

I then read the next page, "There has to be an easy way to compare." and then what is is the speech bubble, "How about making a graph?" I again use my best monster voice.  We turn the page and I read, "That's a great idea!"  I ask the students if they remember what a graph is.  One response I hear is..."It's that thing that looks like a ten frame."  I reply, "That's right, sometimes a graph does look like a ten frame, but a graph let's us compare different groups.  A ten frame only has a space for one groupIf we want to compare the monsters candy to find out who has the most, we will need to use a ten frame. So let's read in our book how they use a graph to tell who has the most candy."

I turn the page, " Let’s start with the Pink Monster."  I invite a student to come up and place the pink monsters candy on the graph, I remind them start at the bottom.  I continue this process for the next three monsters. 

After all the monsters are graphed, I turn the page.  I read, "And the winner is..."  I ask the students which monster has the most.  I hear, The Blue Monster!  I respond by reading the book, "Yes!!  The Blue Monster is the winner!! Blue Monster has the most."  We stop on this page and do some counting and comparing.  I ask the students how many pieces each monster has and I model counting for them.  I also ask which monster has the least.  (MP2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively)

I then finish reading the book.  The students get very excited when they see the last page of the story.  They shout, "Cavities!!"  We then talk about how maybe the Blue Monster should not each so much candy and that he should be brushing his teeth afterwards.  After our discussion, we move over the SMARTBoard for instruction.


15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use my SMARTBoard.  If you have a SMARTBoard, the file can easily be downloaded and opened.  If you have a different type of interactive whiteboard, you can still use this lesson by opening the file in Smart Notebook Express.  There is also a PDF of the slides so you can recreate this part of the lesson.

I gather my students in front of the SMARTBoard.  I have cards with each student's name printed on.  These cards are used for selecting who will come up to the SMARTBoard.

Again, the lesson is similar to the previous day.  I want to continue to expand upon the students' introductory knowledge of graphs.

I open the first slide (SMARTBoard Slide 1) with the lesson objective written in "student friendly" terms.  There is a content objective and a language objective to help focus on vocabulary expansion for my English Learners (ELs) to be congruent with SIOP instructional techniques. I read these objectives aloud for my students.

Content Objective
I can sort objects by color and create a graph.

Language Objective
I can tell a friend information from a graph.


Slide 2: We have been working with graphs.  Our graphs have looked like this.  I invite two students to come to the board.  One counts the green objects on the graph and records it.  One counts and records the red.

Slide 3:  We can turn the graph.  Do we get the same information?  I again have two students come up and count and record the number of objects.  I flip back to the previous slide so the students can compare.  I say to the students, It doesn't matter which way the graph goes.  We can the same information either way.

Slide 4:  Let's graph these shapes.  I invite one student to come up to the SMARTBoard and move the blue shapes into the graph.  Another does the yellow shapes.  I stress,  We need to start at the bottom when we place the objects in the graph.  Wherever the label is, that's where we need to start.  The blue and yellow boxes are the labels on our graph.  We need to start right next to them and go up.  When they are done, I ask the students which color and the most and which one has the least.

Slide 5: Let's graph some candy.  This time four different students move the candy pieces into the graph and four more students count and record the total for each column.  I ask the students which one has the most and which one has the least.  This graph gives me the opportunity to talk with the students about which columns are equal.  I like to continue to expose the students to math vocabulary.

Slide 6: It is now Turn and Talk time.  I pose the following problem to the students to discuss with their turn and talk partners. 

The monsters had a party.  I made a graph to show how many monsters of each color were at the party.  Turn and talk and answer these questions with your partner.  What color monsters was there the most of at the party?  What color was the least? 

After the students have finished discussing, I ask a student to share the answer from the discussion.  I repeat the response in a complete sentence.  The Purple Monsters were the most.   I have them repeat after me to give them practice on their vocabulary expansion.  I then ask which group had the least number at the party.  Again, I repeat their answer in a complete sentence, "The Pink and Blue Monsters had the least at the party."  They repeat.  We then discuss what is the word we use when they are tied...Yes!!! Equal.

We then move to our seats for guided practice.

Guided Practice

10 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, you will need the Candy Monsters Graphing Cards.  I print these in color, back to back so there is two per student, or you can set your printer to do two copies per page and have one card per student.  I laminate them so the can be used over and over.  Vis-A-Vis Markers work really well with this activity (you know...the old overhead markers!)  You can also use dry erase markers, but make sure to erase them when you are done.  It tends not to erase when they have sat for awhile.  I have one marker per student.

I pass out the Graph Cards to the students.  I then give them a marker.  I say to them, "Now it's time to show me how much you know about how to read a graph.  We are learning how to read books, now we will read graphs.  I am going to ask you some questions about each graph and you are going to show me your answer by writing on the graph with the marker."

"Find the graph with the number one on it.  I want you to total each column of monsters.  Write the totals at the bottom of the graph."  I then ask the students to circle the one that has the most.  Put an X next to the one that has the least, etc.  I walk around the room and observe them working with the graphs. (MP6 - Attend to precision) It gives me a lot of feedback about their understanding of reading graphs.

We do the same thing as above for graph 2.  We continue on with graph 3 and 4.  Please note that these graphs do not have a space for the students to total.  I want them also to be able to compare the columns visually.

After they are done, I give each student a sanitizing wipe.  I have them wipe down the pen and I collect it.  They then wipe off the board with the wipe and the helper collects them.

Independent Practice and Informal Assessment

10 minutes

For this part of the lesson, you will need the candy graphing sheet included with the lesson.  I run a copy of each for the students.  You will need plain M&Ms.  One large bag is enough for my class of 22 students.  I count out 15 M&Ms and place them in a Zipper Bag or Dixie Cup.  I pass out the sheets and I ask the students to get out their orange, brown, yellow, blue, green and red crayons.  I walk them through the following steps together:

1.  Write your name on the top of each paper.  Put them side by side in front of you. 

2.  Find the first monster on the sheet (I point to mine and hold it up for the students to see which one).  Put your finger on it.  We are going to color this monster orange, but we are not going to color the star above the monster.   Go ahead and color it in.

3. I want you to point to the first M&M on the sheet.  We will color in the first M&M on our sheet orange.   I model coloring it in and have the students color it.

We continue this process with the other monsters and M&Ms until they are all colored in. 

I then have the students sort their M&Ms on the monster sheet.  After they are sorted by color, I have them count the number of candies in each square and write the number in the star above the monster.

After they have completed this step, I have them transfer the candies to the graph.  I remind them to begin placing the candies on the graph, starting at the bottom of the M&Ms they colored in.  I have them color in the M&Ms, placing them in the bag/cup as they finish.  After they have colored them in, I have the students count the number of M&Ms,  and write the number in each column under the color label.  I then have the students check that number wit the number on the square.  I have them raise their hand if they have a discrepancy  between the two numbers.  I help them double check their counting.  This step helps reinforce K.CC.4b that the number of candies has not changed, even though the configuration has changed.

When the class is done, I ask them some questions.  I say, Point to the color that is the most.  Point to the color that is the least.  I also ask the students how many had red as the most, green, brown, etc.  (This creates a classroom graphing activity if there is time).  I also ask the students how many had amounts that were equal. (MP2)

After we have discuss the graph, the students are allowed to take their candies home.  We put papers in mailboxes as well.