The Chocolate Chip Cookie Challenge

Hi everyone! I'm so excited to share a math project we did recently...all about chocolate chips!

We are smack-dab in the middle of a unit on addition and subtraction. And of course that means there's a little estimating and problem solving thrown in there as well. And maybe some data collection? Maybe.

My teaching partner (who is a-maz-ing) came up with the great idea of this fun project that includes estimating, rounding, adding and collecting data to create a scaled pictograph. We used this book's Chocolate Chip Hunt as an inspiration!

Math Wise! Over 100 Hands-On Activities that Promote Real Math Understanding, Grades K-8
Click the picture to get your copy!

 We were *trying* to hit these CC Standards:

First, my friends got one cookie. Just one. It was torture. Because I wouldn't let them eat it. Or touch it. Or sniff it. I couldn't take a picture here because I had to give everyone the evil eye so they wouldn't eat/touch/sniff their cookie.

Their job was to estimate how many chocolate chips were in their cookie. No cheating by counting of course! So they looked at their cookies and finally a few turned them over to see what was on the bottom and they came up with some estimates. We had LOTS of ideas..."10!" "No, 25!" "No, 50!" (Whoa.) Then they recorded them in their Chocolate Chip Cookie Packet.

After they estimated, they were allowed to count the actual amount of chips in their cookies. My evil eye worked almost too well, as some of them didn't want to touch the cookie to turn it over. But we got past it and started counting chocolate chips and recording the actual number in our packets.

Once we estimated and counted Cookie #1, we estimated Cookie #2 and Cookie #3. I tried to emphasize using the previous actual number of chips to improve the estimates...some people saw the value in this, and some did not. We are still working on it...

Everyone estimated and then actually counted the chips in all three of their cookies. They recorded all their data in their packets. They also wrote about how they estimated.

In the packet they also estimated the total number of chips in all three cookies by rounding and then added to find the total amount. No pictures here because I was helping people remember adding strategies... :-/

Once everyone was done remembering how to add three numbers, we collected some data. They wrote their estimates of the total number of chocolate chips on a sticky and put it on the board. We organized it and then they made a line plot to show our estimates.

Then they wrote about how the data looked on the line plot. We tried to make a line plot of the data of everyone's actual number of chocolate chips, but that didn't really work out since EVERYONE had a different actual number. That would have been one gigantic line we just talked about it and moved on.

Last, but not least, we learned about scaled pictographs and used our chocolate chip cookie data to create one with a key!

They used their scaled pictograph to answer a few questions, and it was interesting! We still need some work on this, but I thought they did a pretty good job for their first try. :-)

Overall, I felt like this project was a success! They practiced estimating, rounding, adding, and collecting and organizing data! It took us a few days to get through it all, but they loved every minute of it.

ESPECIALLY when they got to eat their evil eye necessary!

What fun math projects have you done with your kiddos?

Thanks for stopping by!


The Craft of Teaching


  1. Love this idea! I can't believe how much variability you had in your data. Some of those had a lot of chocolate chips! I may try an activity like this during the week leading up to Christmas vacation,

    1. I was shocked too...made me wonder how carefully some people counted? LOL But they still were able to explore the ideas! If you try it, I would love to see what you do!


  2. What a cool idea! I love the idea of making math "real world." Such a fun idea and could easily be modified for younger kids by doing a bar graph or pictograph or practicing skip counting.


    1. Thanks Sara! I would love to see how people would do this with a younger group! It would be great to see their thinking. :-)


  3. Nice article as well as whole site.Thanks for sharing.


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