We Love Graphing: Valentine's Day Graphing Fun

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Students will be able to sort and show quantities with a graph.

Big Idea

A special holiday does not mean math learning can't happen! Have some Valentine's Day fun with this sweet lesson.


10 minutes

For this part of the lesson, you will need the My Candy Hearts Booklet included as a PDF with this lesson.  One copy of this file creates two books.  Duplicate the booklet, using the side stapling option on the copier and cut the books in half.

I distribute the books to my students and have them write their name on the front cover.  I tell them, we are going to read this book together.  You will need to do some counting, but I know this will be no problem for you.  After we are done with our math activity, you will have a chance to color in the book. 

The name of our story is My Candy Hearts.  Raise your hand if you have ever had candy hearts.  A lot of you have had them before.  Let's read our story to see what it is about. 

Page 1:  "My friends gave my all kinds of candy hearts.  I sorted them by color.  Can you help me count them?  There are so many!"  What do you think boys and girls?  Can you help count the candy hearts?  Great!

Page 2:  Let's look at this page.  It says, "There are (blank) green hearts." So when you color the book in later, you will need to color the hearts green.  But now, I want you to count the hearts.  Do you remember what we know about a full ten frame?  That's right.  You can say ten for a full ten frame and then count the rest of the hearts.  After you count the hearts, write down the number on the page.  I circulate around the room and check their work.  I remind students who are counting the hearts individually how to count the full ten frame and then count on from ten.

Pages 3-5: Continue as above.

Page 6:  Maybe my friends gave me too many hearts!   Next year, can I just have a few hugs? the students laugh at the picture because it is a familiar scene from other books we have read.  I tell them to set the book aside and remind them they will get to color it later.  I then have them clear their tables to prepare for our math activity.


15 minutes

For this activity, you will need candy heart graphing included as a PDF with this lesson.  Do not run the pages back to back.  You will also need candy hearts for the students.  I put about 15 candy hearts in small paper cups for each student, but you can use more. I make sure there is a variety of colors.

I pass the sorting and graphing sheets out to the students and tell them, "We are going to be sorting candy hearts by color.  You will take the hearts out of the cup and place them on the hearts on your paper.  Each heart on your paper should only have one color on it." 

The students sort the hearts and I check their work.  When everyone is done sorting their hearts, I explain to the students what we will do next.  "We are now going to graph our hearts.  Let's start by reading each color on our graph and coloring the heart next to the color name so we graph our hearts in the correct spot."  I read the color name and have the students color in the color next to each one (We outlined the white hearts with black crayon).

I now tell the students that they are going to color in the correct number of hearts next to each color, I say, "If I have three pink hearts, I will color in three hearts.  Continue doing this until all of your hearts are represented on the graph.  I want you color in the number of hearts that you have for each color.  When you are done graphing, them you need to record how many hearts you have of each color by making tally marks.  When you are all done, you have two questions to answer.  You need to color in which color has the most and which color has the fewest."

The students begin their graphing while I circulate around the room. See video. I assist any students who need help.  When the students are done graphing, they show me their work before moving the hearts from the sorting sheet so I can check their work.  I then give them a small zipper bag to put their candy in so they can take it home.