Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Sweet Treats . . . Even or Odd?

Shannon Anderson


This is a sweet way to motivate your students to learn about even and odd numbers! Using candy as manipulatives your students will divide a bag of candy with a partner. If each partner has the same amount then the number is even and if one is left over then the number is odd.


The student demonstrates and explains the difference between odd and even numbers using concrete objects or drawings.


• Approximately 200 small pieces of individually wrapped candy
• One brown lunch sack for each pair of children
• One piece of paper for each student
• A pencil for each student
• Sweet Treat Checklist for each child


1. Fill brown paper bags with various amounts of candy (even and odd amounts) for each pair of students. For example, if there are 24 students in your class you will need to fill 12 bags with candy. You will fill one bag with 4 pieces, one with 5 pieces, one with 6 pieces…all the way to 16 pieces.

2. Make a copy of the Sweet Treat Checklist (see Associated File) for the teacher’s use.


1. Tell the students they are going to learn about even and odd numbers today. If they are “sweet” and follow directions there may be a “sweet treat” at the end of the lesson.

2. Put students in pairs and hand each pair a brown lunch sack with the top folded down. Have a student pass out a piece of paper to each student. Each pair of students should have two pieces of paper and one brown sack with several pieces of candy in it. For a class of 24 students you will have 12 bags with candy in them. One bag will have 4 pieces, one will have 5 pieces, one will have 6 pieces etc..all the way to 16 pieces. This means that 6 pairs will have an odd amount of candy and 6 pairs will have an even amount of candy.

3. Let students explore with their five senses. Allow them to smell it, shake it, and listen to it. Call on students to make predictions about what might be in the bag. Write these predictions on the board.

4. Allow the students to open the bag up—they will be thrilled to find candy inside! Ask them how candy is going to help them learn about even and odd numbers. List their responses on the board.

5. Ask them to count how many pieces of candy they have in their bag and record this number on their own sheet of paper. Explain that with their partner they will divide up the candy. Your explanation may sound something like “Let partner # 1 choose a piece of candy and then let partner #2 choose a piece of candy. Continue doing this until all of the candy has been chosen.

6. Have them raise their hands once this is completed. Ask the students who had one piece of candy left over. Six pairs will raise their hands (remember that 6 pairs have an odd amount of candy in their bags and 6 pairs will have an even amount of candy in their bag if your class has 24 students). Explain to these pairs that they have an odd number of pieces of candy. Have them write odd next to their number on their sheet of paper.

7. Ask which students were able to share their candy so that it was fair and each child got the same amount of candy. Explain that these students got and even amount of candy and they need to write even next to their number on their sheet of paper.

8. Explain to students the connection between when things can be divided or shared equally then that number is even. When there is one left over the number is odd.

9. Have them put their candy back in their bag and then have them pass their bag to the set of partners behind them. (The rotation of the candy bags will depend on how your classroom is set up).

10. With their new bag of candy they will repeat the same process. The teacher should be walking around the room with the Sweet Treat Checklist assessing students. Once they have their new bag of candy they will dump it out, count it, record the number on their own sheet of paper (partner #1 and partner #2 should have the same number written down). They will divide the candy between the partners, determine whether the number is even or odd, record it on their sheet of paper, and then explain to you, the teacher, how they know if the number is even or odd.

11. Each student will need to demonstrate and explain whether a number is even or odd two different times to check for mastery. The class will rotate bags at least 5 different times to give the students ample practice time and the teacher time to evaluate each student.

12. At the end of the activity dump all of the candy in a big bowl and allow each student to choose 5 pieces of candy to take home as a reminder of even and odd numbers.


Evidence: Each student writes down the amount of candy in each of the five bags he/she investigates and next to it writes whether the number is even or odd.

Formatively assess each student’s understanding by moving from student to student providing feedback and by using the Sweet Treat Checklist (see Associated File). Provide corrective feedback using the completed checklist. Students who do not successfully meet all of the criteria receive a short one on one reteaching from the teacher.

Criteria: The student uses candy as a manipulative to demonstrate his/her understanding of odd and even numbers and then communicates this understanding to the teacher.

Attached Files

Sweet Treat Checklist     File Extension: pdf

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