Christmas Graphing Activities
Contributed by Leanne Guenther
- A bag of green and red M&M's (or similar candies in green and red).
If you are working with a group of children, you can buy a large bag and use it to make your own small ziploc snack bags of them. There should be no more than 20 of each color in the bag.
- Templates (see below)
The Christmas graphing projects build on each other and are, therefore, suitable for grade 1 through grade 3.
Grade 1 students should do the predictions and tally worksheets.
Grade 2 students should do the predictions, estimation, and tally worksheets.
Grade 3 students should complete all the worksheets: predictions, estimation, tally and bar graphs.
Project 1: Predict the Number of Candies
Talk to the children about "predictions". A prediction is a fancy word for a guess about the future. Predictions can be made lots of different ways:
- It can be based on scientific information like a database of statistically valid samples.
- It can be based on
previous knowledge -- like what happened last year.
- It can be based on chance
-- ex: if I roll dice and it's an even number, there will be more green candies.
- It can be based on superstition -- ex: if I see a black cat the day before, there will be more red candies.
Encourage the children to chose the way they want to make their predictions.
Project 2: Estimate the Results
An estimate is a calculated guess of the approximate amount of an item without having exact information.
Divide the candies into two separate piles.
Estimate how many green candies and how many red candies are in your piles. Don't count! Just estimate.
Project 3: Tally the Results
Tally marks are a quick way to visually count a large number of results. Rather than trying to keep track of a count, you make a tally mark for each item, then you can count the tally marks (by 5's). This is an intermediate step for graphing.
Project 4: Bar Graph the Group's Results
Using your tally worksheet (or starting from scratch), make a bar graph of your bag of Halloween candies.