Graphing with M&M's

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SWBAT draw a pictograph to represent a unique data set

Big Idea

M&M’s can be used to create a unique data set and can be graphed by students


5 minutes

One of the really cool things about math is that I can represent what I have as a data set, and I can show people what I have with cool things like graphs. A pictograph is a great way that I can  represent my data, and today my data is going to be M&M’s! I have a bag on M&M’s here and I need to figure out how many of each color I have! I have my pictograph set up with a few important pieces already written down, but I’m going to need you guys to help me figure out what I’ve got! 

Guided Practice

10 minutes

I call on a student to help me sort them, another student count them and another student to record on a white board. I do this to draw more students into the learning instead of allowing only 1 student to participate.

I’m going to tally up what I have so that I know how many total things I’ve got in my data set before I start my graphing work.  There are many ways that I can choose to show what I have with a pictograph, and what I choose might be different from what you choose!

Ok now that I have all of my data, I am going to set up my pictograph. I am going to have it go from side to side, but you can also choose to have it go up and down. And I’m going to use a smiley face to represent my amounts. I think I’ll make each smiley face worth 2 M&M’s. It’s important for me to put that here so that anyone reading my graph knows what I mean by a smiley face! What would have of a smiley face equal? (student responses). That’s right.

I want all of you to use a white board to write down how many smiley faces I need for each color, like this (white board example). Great, I’ll set that up now. 

Independent Work

35 minutes

You will be working with a partner to count your data, tally up what you have and then each of you will create your own pictograph using your data. I want each partner to choose a different way to represent what they have so that we can see our data graphed in as many ways as possible!   

Here I emphasize MP4 and for students to model their unique data set of M&M’s and to encourage each student that even with the same bag of candy they can each find their own unique way to graph it. 


5 minutes

Now who would like to share their pictograph with us? Why did you choose to represent your data in that way?

Here I choose a few students to share out their work and we celebrate each students work.