Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Valentine Hearts

Randy Bowne
Miami-Dade County Schools


In this lesson students group Valentine candy hearts, then create individual graphs.


The student displays solutions to problems by generating, collecting, organizing, and analyzing data using simple graphs and charts.

The student uses mathematical language to read and interpret data on a simple concrete graph, pictorial graph, or chart.


-Bags of Valentine candy hearts
-Class set of 8 by 11 white paper
-Class set of crayons
-Paper towels
-Examples of types of graphs


1. Purchase enough Valentine candy hearts to allow each student 20-25 candies and snack bags for the total number of students.
2. Set out enough plain, white sheets of paper for each student
3. Distribute crayons for every student to have one.
4. Prepare the bags by placing 20 -25 candies in each bag. Vary the colors. Bags should not be the same.


1. Ask students to name different types of graphs. have some available for them to look at.

2. Write the types of graphs on the board.

3. Compare and contrast graphs by asking what information is displayed, is some information the same in all graphs, etc. Be sure to write down and share with students the number sentence that corresponds to each piece of data on the graph.

4. Point to a graph and list the parts of the graph that students will need to know and be able to put on their own graphs. See the asseessment section for a list of these.

5. Tell students they are going to create graphs to show if everybody in the class has an equal number of hearts and an equal number of each color. Hold up the bags and ask students if they think they contents are all the same. Ask students which graphs might be the best for this. Elicit the answer bar graphs or line graphs.

6. Distribute plastic bags. Show students how to count their colored hearts without opening their bags. Model how to record this on a piece of paper. Model how to create a number sentence showing the total number of hearts in your bag.

7. Give each student a piece of paper and demonstrate how to position it on their desks horizontally.

8. Ask a volunteer to label the X and Y axis on the bar graph that is already on the board, and to tell the class what X represents as well as Y. (X-colors of the hearts- Y-the number of hearts). Have students copy this information.

9. Instruct students to create their graphs using the data they gathered from categorizing their hearts. Remind them they can make a bar graph or a line graph. Keep the examples available for those who need help.

10. Move throughout the room to insure students understood directions and are working together to create an acceptable graph.

11. Assist students as needed.

12. After 30 minutes, ask student volunteers to share their graphs.

13. Formatively assess students during their presentations that at least four criteria listed in assessment are acceptable.

14. If the student does not meet the acceptable criteria, pair the student with someone who has presented an acceptable graph.

15. After each student shares an acceptable graph, the students may eat their candies.

16. Ask students to write a conclusion about their graphs as they eat. Tell them to write 3 sentences that describe the information in their graphs. Suggest using the words, more, less than, and equal. (These are the same words that should've been used during the oral presentation of the number sentences on the graph.)


Students will accurately record their data on their individualized bar graph. Each student will be required to complete the following items:

1. Title the graph.
2. Label the X axis and Y axis.
3. Accurately draw the bar.
4. Put the correct color number on top of each bar.
5. Write a number sentence to describe the representation of the graph.
6. Write a conclusion explaining the graph in correct mathematical terms(2 or 3 sentences). An example would be: There are more red than green.
Students have met the standards if at least four of the six items are labeled and the data is correct. Students who do not present graphs with at least four of the six labels and accurate data will be paired with students who met the criteria for some quiet tutoring. Those students will be expected to present their graphs in class at another time.


The students will create four questions using data from their graph. Ex. How many more pink than yellow?
Substitue Valentine hearts with M&Ms, miniature candy bars, Skittles, etc.
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