Valentine Candy Hearts Math Investigation
Have you ever wondered if all boxes of Valentine hearts candies are the same? Do they have the same colors? Do they weigh the same amount? Does each box contain the same number of candies? Inquiring minds want to know! Questions like these provide a perfect opportunity for a bit of data analysis fun!
When I posed these questions to my students, they wanted to conduct an investigation to find out. With the class divided into cooperative learning teams, we examined 10 different boxes of candy. We weighed them and looked at the range, mode, median, and mean of the data. Then we counted the candies, graphed the colors, and crunched the numbers to look at the variations between the boxes. As you might imagine, you’ll end up with lots of data in a short time that’s perfect for also sorts of mathematical analysis. Here’s a screenshot showing the data my class collected during the first part of the activity. It’s messy, but it’s authentic!
It was a terrific activity for the week of Valentine’s Day because my students were definitely stretching their brains, but they were having lots of fun, too! This activity would also work well AFTER Valentine’s Day when you can snap up boxes of conversation hearts at cheap prices. Your students won’t mind a bit if Valentine’s Day has already passed!
Valentine Hearts Data Analysis Freebie
If you’d like to use this activity with your students, download the Valentine Hearts Data Analysis freebie shown below. All of the files are stored in a large zip file, which you’ll need to unzip before you can access the individual files. Here’s what you’ll find inside the file:
- Smartboard slides for recording and analyzing data (not required for the lesson)
- Promethean board tips for converting the Smartboard file
- Student samples of how our class results were recorded and analyzed
- Teacher directions including student activity pages
Kids love to have candy on Valentine’s Day, and this is a fun way to sneak in a little learning at the same time! If you don’t want your students to eat the candies they’ve handled for the activity, be sure to purchase some extra boxes for snacking after the lesson is over. Yum!
Where to Find Boxes of Conversation Hearts
One of the major companies that makes conversation heart candies has gone out of business, so you might have a little more trouble finding them this year. One option is to buy them from Amazon.com, but that will only work if you order them several days in advance. If you don’t have enough time to order them online, you may be able to find them at your local Target or Walgreens. To find out, visit this page on the Brach’s website and click the “Where to Buy” link.