The Statistics of M&Ms

Charlotte Goldwater Kenwood Academy
5015 S. Blackstone
Chicago IL 60645
(312) 535-1409


The objective of this lesson is to analyze the contents of a bag of M&Ms
mathematically. This activity is appropriate for grades one through twelve.

Materials Needed:

One bag of M&Ms peanuts or plain, per student
One small plastic sandwich bag per student
One handout with a circle and a 6x8 grid
Several boxes of crayons
A protractor for each student


Have the students count or tally the number of each color. On the grid, put the
appropriate labels on the bottom and left. Make a bar graph coloring a square
for each M&M using a similar color.

Do a mean, mode, and median analysis of the candy.

Have students prepare the percentages of each color by dividing the total number
of each color by the total number of the contents of the bag. Calculate the
number of degrees this would represent. Multiply the percent of each color by
360 degrees.

Use a protractor to measure the number of degrees this represents. Divide the
circle accordingly. Color the circle using the same color as candy being

Have the students share their numbers. Compare them. Save this data for
comparisons with future classes results.

Performance Assessment:

Depending on the level of the students or class you can evaluate the class
through oral participation or in written follow up activities.

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