Beacon Lesson Plan Library

A Sweet Twist on Mean, Mode, and Range

M Dennis


This lesson helps the student collect, organize, and analyze data to model concepts of mode, median, and range.


The student determines range, mean, median, and mode from sets of data.


-Paper towels
-Colored candy such as M & M's or Skittles in small individual packages
-Teacher-made worksheets
-Pencils for students to record data


1. Compose and make copies of worksheet
2. Purchase individual packages of candy, one per student


1. Begin the lesson with a review of median, mode, and range.
a. Median is the middle number when the numbers are arranged in order.
b. Mode is the number that occurs the most.
c. Range is the difference between largest and smallest numbers.

2. Introduce the problem to the class. -What are the different ways to describe how many pieces of candy are in a package of M & M's?-

3. Lead a class discussion on what information is needed to solve the problem. The suggestions are recorded on the board and the class clarifies what is needed to find the median, mode, and range.
a. Number of students in the class.
b. Total pieces of candy in everyone's bag.

4. Pass out teacher-made worksheets.

5. Pass out paper towels to put candy on.

6. Pass out individual packages of candy with directions not to open them until directed.

7. Instruct the students to fill out worksheet, reminding them to:
a. Count carefully
b. Work independently

9. Give students 10 minutes to open packages and to count candy.

10. Students eat candy after recording the results for their total on their worksheet.

11. Students share their results in a teacher-directed discussion.

12. The teacher records all the results on the board.

13. Each student also records the totals on their worksheet.

14. Give the students 25 minutes to complete worksheet.


1. The worksheet is graded using standard percentages based on the number of correct answers:
a) Classroom mode is correct
b) Classroom mean is correct
c) Classroom median is correct.
d) Classroom range is correct.

2. Teacher observation of oral answers in the discussion: Did the student know the difference between the mode, mean, and range?


This is a remedial lesson used with high school students in an alternative program.

Attached Files

A classroom worksheet for gathering the data.     File Extension: pdf

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