Hot Cocoa Math

In this lesson, children will count the marshmallows in their hot chocolate and write the number on their hot chocolate mugs.

Math Lesson for:

Toddlers/Preschoolers
(See Step 5: Adapt lesson for toddlers or preschoolers.)

Content Area:

Data Analysis and Probability
Numbers and Operations

Learning Goals:

This lesson will help toddlers and preschoolers meet the following educational standards:

  • Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers and number systems
  • Compute fluently and make reasonable estimates
  • Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize and display relevant data to answer these questions
  • Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data

Learning Targets:

After this lesson, toddlers and preschoolers should be more proficient at:

  • Counting with understanding and recognizing “how many” in sets of objects
  • Using multiple models to develop initial understandings of place value and the base-ten system
  • Developing a sense of whole numbers and representing and using them in flexible ways, including relating, composing and decomposing numbers
  • Developing fluency with basic number combinations for addition and subtraction
  • Posing questions and gathering data about themselves and their surroundings
  • Representing data using concrete objects, pictures and graphs

Hot Cocoa Math

Lesson plan for toddlers/preschoolers

Step 1: Gather materials.

  • A bag of small marshmallows
  • Laminated drawing of a hot chocolate mug  (You can also slip the mug drawing into a plastic protective sleeve. The children can draw on the laminated or plastic surface with crayons or dry erase markers)
  • Ten frame
  • Hot chocolate
  • The book, Lucky Pennies and Hot Chocolate by Carol Diggory Shields.

 

Note: Small parts pose a choking hazard and are not appropriate for children age five or under. Be sure to choose lesson materials that meet safety requirements.

Step 2: Introduce activity.

  1. Ask the children about their experiences with hot chocolate. (“Does everyone like hot chocolate? Do you like marshmallows in your hot chocolate?”)
  2. Explain that everyone is going to have the opportunity to enjoy some delicious hot chocolate.

Step 3: Engage children in lesson activities.

  • Begin by giving each child a laminated hot chocolate mug drawing with a number on the mug. I like to start with a number less than 10 as a review. The children then pick the appropriate amount of marshmallows and place them in the ten frame to show the number on the mug.
  • Continue with a number from 11-20. Write the number on the mug (this is where the laminated mug drawings come in handy). The children then pick the appropriate amount of marshmallows and place them in the ten frames to show the number on the mug.
  • Next, give the children a set amount of marshmallows (11–20) and have them place the marshmallows in the ten frames and then write the number of marshmallows on their mugs.
  • After the activity with the marshmallows, enjoy some hot chocolate. Ask the children if they like the hot chocolate and graph their responses. Then ask if they like marshmallows in their hot chocolate and graph those responses.
  • As the children are enjoying their hot chocolate, read the book, Lucky Pennies and Hot Chocolate.

Additional Extensions

  • Add more ten frames to the hot chocolate mats and have the children work with bigger numbers.
  • Pose informational questions about the hot chocolate. Collect data and record the data using graphs.

Step 4: Teach math vocabulary.

  • Digit: A symbol used to show a number (e.g.,”Eight is a one-digit number. Twelve is a two-digit number.”)
  • Place value: The value of a digit, depending on its place in a number

Glossary of MATH vocabulary

Step 5: Adapt lesson for toddlers or preschoolers.

Adapt Lesson for Toddlers
Toddlers may:
  • Only work with numbers 1-10
Home child care providers may:
  • Give the children 10 marshmallows and a hot chocolate mug mat that has one ten frame
  • Work in fives. Reinforce one line in the ten frame. Two fives make 10.
  • Count, recognize, represent, name and order marshmallows one through 10.
Adapt Lesson for Preschoolers
Preschoolers may:
  • Easily work with numbers 1-10
Home child care providers may:
  • Add more ten frames to the hot chocolate mug mat and have the children work with bigger numbers
  • Pose informational questions about the hot chocolate. Collect data and record using graphs.

Suggested Books

  • Lucky Pennies and Hot Chocolate by Carol Diggory Shields (Boston, MA: Dutton Juvenile, 2000)

Music and Movement

Outdoor Connections

Using brown paper lunch bags, have the children collect items in quantities of 10. Use one bag to collect 10 rocks, another to collect 10 leaves, etc. Once each bag has 10 items, close up the bag. When the children are finished collecting, have them count (by 10s) the number of collected items in the total number of bags. Be sure to emphasize: “One bag has 10 items, so we will be counting by tens to find out how many collected items we have in total.”

If there is snow on the ground, go outside and play in the snow before coming inside to enjoy the hot cocoa.

Web Resources

  • These interactive games and activities offer fun challenges that kids will love. Use your counting skills to catch numbers, protect towers, count blocks, solve puzzles, play strategy games and more.  www.kidsmathgamesonline.com/counting.html

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