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Lesson Plan #: AELP-MPS0014
Submitted by: Sondra Van Essen
Email: vanes6l0@numen.elon.edu
School/University/Affiliation: Elon College: Elon College, NC
Endorsed by: Deborah Thurlow – Assistant Professor of Education, Elon College Date: May 10, 1999

Grade Level(s): 4


  • Mathematics/Process Skills

Duration: 1 hour Description: This lesson is the result of work completed in the class Mathematics and Science Methods for Elementary Teachers at Elon College. Lessons were prepared for and implemented in 4th grade classrooms at Haw River Elementary School, Haw River, NC.

Goals: As a group, students will display the same data in a variety of ways; discuss advantages and disadvantages of each form, including ease of creation and purpose of graph.

Objectives: As a result of the activity, the students will be able to:
1. Collect information for a graph.
2. Use the collected information to draw a bar graph and a circle graph.
3. Label graphs.
4. Use collected information to make and reduce fractions.


  • small baggie of M & M’s
  • writing utensil
  • teacher-created worksheet including problems such as:

    Separate M&M’s according to color,
    Make a fraction of each color to the total number of M&M’s and reduce fractions
    Make a bar graph using results from your M&M bag

Write these six colors on board: red, blue, orange, yellow, brown, green. Collect information from students as to which one of these colors is their favorite. Draw a graph on board using the information from the students. Ask what these colors have in common: (they are all the colors of M&M’s). Pass out M&M bags to students. Have them complete a worksheet (sample questions above). After completion of the worksheet, go over students’ answers. How and why did students get the answers they got?

Assessment: Assessment of students can be done by:
1. walking around class and observing as they complete the worksheet.
2. looking at the completed worksheet.
3. listening to questions students ask during and after lesson, as well as while completing the worksheet.

Useful Internet Resources: Lesson Plan #:AELP-PRB0005 was used to make this lesson, however I changed it to better fit the classroom I was working in.