Skittles Graph

A. Wills
Multiple Subject Teacher

Students will learn to create a small bar graph using candy for information.

Grade Level: K - 2nd

Subject: Math

Length of Time: About 30 Minutes

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Common Core Alignment

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.MD.D.10 - Draw a picture graph and a bar graph (with single-unit scale) to represent a data set with up to four categories. Solve simple put-together, take-apart, and compare problems1 using information presented in a bar graph.

Objectives & Outcomes

Students will be able to create and appropriately color in the right number of sections on a simple bar graph based on the number of candies present. Students will understand that a graph represents actual objects/items.

Materials Needed

  • fun Size Skittles (or other candies in various colors)
  • graph paper
  • crayons/colored pencils


Opening to Lesson

  • Tape a blank graph onto the chalkboard or project one so that the class can see. Tell students you are going to ask them a question, but you do not want an answer yet. Ask students the following: If you had to choose between hamburgers, pizza, or spaghetti, which would be your favorite food? Tell students you want them to only choose one of those foods as a favorite. Now have students who chose hamburger raise their hands. Count how many students and then graph that number by coloring in the squares that correspond on the graph paper. Count out loud as you color in each square. Explain that each block represents one student that raised their hand.
  • Now ask who chose pizza. Count the number of hands. Ask students how many boxes should be colored in on the graph where pizza is labelled? Students should understand it is the same as the number of hands raised.
  • Now ask who chose spaghetti. Have students decide how many boxes should be colored in. Now tell students that everyone has voted and that there are ____ number of students in the class. How many boxes should be colored in in total? Count to make sure everyone voted.

Body of Lesson

  • Explain to students that they are going to make their own graph, but they cannot have the candy used for the graph until after the activity is complete. Hand out graph paper and a small bag of Skittles (or other candy) to each student. Have students sort the candies by color (each student will be different). Now explain that each candy represents a box on the graph and each color is a separate bar, just like pizza, spaghetti, and hamburgers were separate bars.
  • Have students create their graph using colors that correspond to the candy colors. Double check students as they work.


Have students check their own graph by placing the candies into corresponding boxes on the graph they colored. Is there one candy per square? If so their graph is correct and they may eat their candy.

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Assessment & Evaluation

Students will show understanding by creating a graph appropriate to the number/color of candies they are given.

Modification & Differentiation

Some students may need help sorting or counting before graphing.

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