Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Graphing with jelly beans

 Today we did some sorting, sequencing, and graphing with a favorite seasonal treat--jelly beans.  These activities are appropriate for older preschoolers, and kindergarten to first grade.  First, I gave each kid a handful of jelly beans, and had them sort the beans by color. 

I made up this sheet with ovals shaded in each of the colors found in our bag of jelly beans. (You can easily make your own, or click here for a printable version).  We used Starburst jelly beans, because they taste the best (according to Hubby--I actually don't like jelly beans). 

Next, we practiced some patterning, covering up the blank ovals in a pattern with the appropriately colored bean.  I was surprised at how well the kids did with the more complicated ABB and ABC patterns.

Next came the fun part: graphing the beans according to color. It's the fun part, because it was the last part, and I told the kids they could eat their beans as they recorded them on their graphs. 

I found this great printable at Welcome to ssKindergarten. There were only enough lines for 5 colors of beans, so I printed an extra sheet, cut it apart, and glued an extra line to each of the kids' graphs.  If you don't care for this one, you can make your own, or there are tons of free printables out there.

The kids placed their beans on the graph and used colored pencils to fill in wherever there was a bean.

When the graphs were completed, it was easy to see which color bean the kids had the most (pink) and least (orange) of, and if they had equal numbers of any colors (yes: purple, green and yellow).  We also talked about how many more there were of one color over another.

These jelly bean activities are great for practicing color discrimination, counting, patterning, graphing, and comparing, as well as fine motor skills.

Next up: science with jelly beans!  Stay tuned!

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