Oreo Stacking Contest for Mean, Median, Mode Lesson!

Last year, I posted a picture on my Facebook fan page of my students stacking Oreos.  It was such a hit that I promised I would blog about it, and I completely forgot.  Until now!  I loved the idea from Runde's Room several years ago so much that I put it into our yearly rotation of activities, and it remains one of the most loved and most requested activities in my classroom.  In fact, these pictures are from the second time we did the activity, months and months after we did it for the first time.  They loved it THAT much.

The idea is simple: students stack Oreos to make a tower.  They collect data on how tall their towers can get and then use that data to practice data management, like mean, median, mode, and range.  We also made it into a line graph!

The basic rules are that they can't hold it to make it stay up while they are stacking and once one Oreo falls they have to start over.

Here are some fun pictures of my kids making their stacks…

An action shot of the Oreo tower crashing and one student trying to save it (not allowed!). 🙂

I love this one because you can see they really started to get technical about it toward the top.  I believe this was our record-setting stack!

This one is my favorite because they tried to get creative in their technique.  It didn't last long.

I had five teams of stackers, so we did three rounds each.  Trust me, you need to have multiple rounds. Your kids will love it THAT much.  We also had a bonus round where they could hold it up, because they were dying to see how high they could get it that way.  They were in charge of writing their stats on the board after each round.

When we were all done, the students found the Mean, Median, Mode, and Range of their data and then of the class' data.  We made a double line graph to show our data.  This was a great review, and have I mentioned how much the kids love it?

I have a few more pictures of activities we did with Mean, Median, Mode, and Range prior to this exciting activity!

We made an anchor chart together.  Unlike most of the anchor charts we made, where the kids are also copying something into their notebook, I gave them a break and let them use copies of the mini mean, median, mode, and range anchor charts that are in my bundle. There is something about having their own copies of something printed that kids adore.

Here is a look at the anchor charts in a makeshift pocket in their interactive notebooks.

And as if we didn't have enough sugar with the Oreos, there was a Skittle activity, too!  (To be fair, the activities were done on separate days.)

This activity is great fun because they collect their own data, then collect their partner's data, combine group data, and do it all again.  In other words, they are doing A LOT of mean, median, mode, and range practice with this activity!  They enjoyed using their mini anchor charts as cheat sheets while they worked, too.

Finally, on the left side of the notebook, they used a task card as a ticket out the door.

You can find the mini anchor charts, Skittles Activity, and task cards in my Mean Median Mode Range Activity Bundle pack.

Do you have any fun ideas for teaching 3M+R?  I love the skill because the possibilities are endless, and kids will use these skills ALL the time in the real world…and they see that!

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