A Meter of Candy

In this series of 3 hands-on activities, students develop and reinforce their understanding of hundredths as fractions, decimals, and percentages. Students explore using candy pieces as they physically make and connect a set/linear model to area models. This site provides a lesson plan with two activities that demonstrate the relationship between fractions, decimals, and percents. The second activity then builds upon the first activity by placing the information into an area and linear model. There are printable materials available to compliment the lesson. This lesson incorporates many areas of mathematics and uses a wide variety of vocabulary. There is also a journal extension activity that can be used to encourage the students to communicate mathematically. An assessment activity is also included with the lesson.This activity can be extended into 5th grade.

Standards & Objectives

Learning objectives: 

Learning Objectives:

Students will:

  • Reinforce understanding of the connections between fractions, decimals, and percentages.
  • Connect the set and linear model to area models (rectangular and circular).

NCTM Standards and Expectations:

  • Use models, benchmarks, and equivalent forms to judge the size of fractions.
  • Develop understanding of fractions as parts of unit wholes, as parts of a collection, as locations on number lines, and as divisions of whole numbers.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Differentiation suggestions: 

Extensions :

  • Compare the percentages of candy colors between groups. Notice similarities, differences, or trends. For practice with addition and subtraction of decimals, ask students to complete some tasks. For example, pose these problems: If there are 32 red and 11 green candies, what is the percent difference? [0.32 – 0.11 = 0.21] Choose two pie graphs and find the sum of their orange candies. Tasks can also challenge higher-level students. Adding like colors from different groups may lead to sums greater than 1, leading students to understand the concept of a whole in fractions.
  • Have students collection pie graphs clipped from newspapers, photocopied from encyclopedias, and printed from the Internet. Have students examine the graphs, interpret them, and share their results.
  • Use technology to create pie graphs. Use either the Circle Grapher Tool or the graphing function in Excel. In the latter software, students may also try different graphical models to represent 100% of their candy.