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Here is a math lesson on estimation and classification




K, 1  

Pam Blake

Heather Cleek

Lesson Plan

1 1/6/96

M & M’s

Topic: Estimation and Classification

Grade Level: Kindergarten and 1st Grade

Objectives: Students will be able to:

1) estimate the number of each color of M & M’s in a provided baggie.

2) predict the color that will be most frequently occurring.

3) sort M & M’s according to color.

4) count the number of M & M’s for each color provided.



Baggies of M & M’s (1 for each pair) Recording Sheet Pencils

A) Anticipatory Set (10 minutes)

Students will sit in a large circle. The teacher will pour a bag of candies onto the floor. The children will identify the three types and guess of which type there is the most. Then, they will estimate how many there are of each type. We will quickly discuss how close the students were to being correct in their estimates.

B) Activity (30 minutes)

1. Assign students to pairs.

2. Give each pair a baggie of M & M’s, a recording sheet, and a pencil.

3. Tell the students to look at their baggie of M & M’s and guess which color has has the most pieces. Circle that color on their recording sheet.

4. The students estimate a number from one to ten for each color in their baggie and write that number on the recording sheet by each color.

5. The students will sort the M & M’s by color and place them horizontally in the allotted space on the recording sheet.

6. The students will count their M & M’s one color at a time and place each total in the provided space on the recording sheet.

Note: The teacher will walk around to assist students and ask questions, such as: How many more would you need to get your estimation? Why did you think that blue had the most?

How many more would you need of green to have what you estimated? Was your estimate of yellow more or less than what you counted?

C) Practice (30 minutes) Have the students select baggies of different items from a table. Have the students estimate the number of items by different attributes and check their estimates. Baggies might include buttons, attribute blocks of one color, the animal manipulative in various sizes, and a couple of baggies with more than one attribute.

D) Closure (20 minutes) Discuss how the students determined their estimates. Write down any strategies students recognize. Ask how they determined if their estimates were right, close, or wrong. Discuss other things that they could sort and estimate in the classroom or on the playground. Read The M & M’s Counting Book before dismissing the students.


Observe the students as they work with the M & M’s and recording sheets. Do the students display an understanding of estimation and classification by a single attribute?

Document the level of understanding for each area and how it was displayed by each student.


Activity created by Pam Blake and Heather Cleek.

The M & M’s Counting Book

Published by Charlesbridge in 1994.

M & M Clouds of Xeen Hints

Author: New World Compu by Abco Distributors

Internet Address for M & M’s by Mars, Incorporated:

FREE Teacher Ideas Available from Mars, Incorporated for M & M’s: Call 1 – 800 – 627 – 7852

Extensions: The children could send their color totals to Mars, Incorporated by writing a class letter. The children could visit the Mars, Incorporated Internet address for more information on M & M’s and for fun. The children could estimate and sort other items around the classroom.

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