Candy Circle Graphs
Activity Learn More For Teachers

ACTIVITY: Circle Graphs & the Percent Equation candycircles.xls

PART 2: How many of each color are there in the mystery bag of M & M's? What's the percent distribution of the colors?
  1. BEFORE opening you bag of "M&M's", predict the total (how many) and the distribution of colors (how many of each are color) are in the bag. Use the table below to enter your information:
    Actual Amounts

  2. Calculate the fraction for each of the colors. For example, if there were 6 red M&M's in a bag of 30, then the fraction would be 6/30
  3. Now, use the Percent Equation to calculate the percent for each of the colors of M&M's. Fill in the Percent column with this information.
    • Do your percentages equal 100%? Why is this important?

  4. In the table below, enter the class totals and calculate the Class percents
    Class Amounts
    Class Total:

PART 3: Using a Spreadsheet to calculate Percent

  1. Open candycircles.xls in a spreadsheet application (such as Excel).
  2. Enter the Class Amounts the class calculated in Column B. For example, click the mouse in Cell B2 and enter the class total amount of Blue M&M's. Continue for the other colors.
  3. Now, click your mouse in Cell C2 and enter =B2/B8 as in the image to the right. This will calculate the class percent of Blue M&M's.
  4. Continue with the other cells. For example, enter =B3/B8 in Cell C3, =B4/B8 in Cell C4, etc.
    • What's happening? Why?
    • What is B8?
    • Why did we make B8 the denominator in all the class percents?

PART 4: Use a Spreadsheet to create a Circle Graph
Circle graphs represent the entire amount, or 100% of a certain data, which is then split into parts proportional in size to the amount that each part represents.

  1. Use your mouse to Highlight all the information from Cells A1 to Cell B7.Do this by clicking on cell A1 and dragging down and across to cell B7.
  2. Once the data is highlighted, find the Chart Wizard button and click it.
  3. Select Pie from the list of Chart Types and click Finish
  4. Click Next on the next screen
  5. Slowly click twice on each of the circle slices (pieces) until the individual piece is selected as in the image to the right. Notice the small black squares around the individual piece.
  6. Once this piece is selected, right-click on top of the piece and select Format Data Point from the menu options as in the image to the right.
  7. Select the color that matches the M&M according to the key and click OK. For example, select the Red color if the piece of the circle graph represents the Red M&M's.
  8. Repeat for each of the sectors
  9. Once you've completed, click the Your Bag tab in the bottom of the screen (see below) and calculate the Percents AND make a Circle Graphs using only the information from your bag of M&M's.






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