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Lesson Plan

Starburst and Skittle Graphs by ECSDM


Math, Science & Technology

Grade Levels

Elementary, 4th Grade

Anticipatory Set/Input

  • Ask the students why graphs are made. Discuss how a graph can help organize information and describe how much there is of something.
  • Ask the students if they like candy. Inform the students that the class will be using Starbursts and Skittles to practice organizing information using tally tables and different graphs.


This Math lesson will allow students to represent data in different ways. Students will use Starbursts and Skittles candy to create tally tables, bar graphs, line plots, and pictographs to represent data.


1 hour

Learning Objectives

  • Given pieces of Starburst candy, students will tally and create a class bar graph, line plot and pictograph that represents the different colored Starbursts.
  • Given a bag of Skittles, students will organize, sort, tally and create a bar graph, line plot and pictograph of the different colored Skittles.
  • Given the graphs that the students created, they will be able to interpret their data from their graphs.


Starbursts Candy
Skittles Candy
Ziploc Snack Bags
Starburst Math and Skittle Math Data sheets

  • Starburst Graph.pdf
  • Skittle Graph.pdf
  • Starburst Graph.notebook
  • Skittle Graph.notebook
  • Modeling

    1. Give each student one piece of Starburst candy.
    2. Hand out the Starburst Math data sheets. Display the first sheet of the Starburst Math data sheets on the board.
      Take a tally of the number of each color Starburst the students have. Have the students write in the tallies on their data sheet as you write the tallies on the board.
    3. Call students up to the board to help complete the Starburst bar graph. As the bar graph is being completed on the board, have the students copy the graph onto their data sheet using crayons/markers that represent each color (red, orange, yellow, pink).
    4. After the students have completed the bar graph, have the students interpret the graphs by writing two facts about the graph (ex: what was the greatest color, least color, difference between two colors, etc.)
    5. Call some students to share their sentences aloud.
    6. Next, have the students create a line plot, and a pictograph to represent the data. Be sure to remind the students to create their own key for the pictograph.

    Check for Understanding/Guided Practice/Independent Practice

    1. Give each student a ziploc snack bag with 15 pieces of Skittles candy.
    2. Go over the Skittle Math data sheets.
      Explain to the students to first make tally marks of the different colored Skittles in their bag by manipulating them around inside the bag.
    3. The students should then create a bar graph, line plot, and pictograph that represents their 15 Skittles.
    4. Finally, they will interpret information from their graphs by filling in the set of blank lines on the Skittle Math - Tally and Bar Graph data sheet.
    5. Inform the students that these data sheets will be collected and graded.


      • Have a few students share their work by showing the class their graphs. Also, have them read their two sentences that describe their data.
      • Encourage the students to think of other information they can get from their graphs that they may have missed. (ex: How many more of one color were there than another?, How many red and orange Skittles are there all together?, etc.)
      • Collect the Skittle Math data sheets from each student.
      • Allow the students to eat their candy.


      • While the students are working on their Starburst and Skittle data sheets, walk around the room and see if the students are following directions.
      • Collect the Starburst and Skittle Math data sheets from every student and check to see that they completed the data sheets correctly.

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