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Power Up with Chick Peas

Use chick peas, as well as many other beans, to estimate, sort and classify in this simple math lesson.


Lesson Type:
Guided Inquiry


The students will recognize and sort beans based on shape, size and color.

The students will estimate and count the beans in each jar.


Nutritional Objective:

(Insert Nutritional Obj. Here)





Mix a combination of dried beans selected from those found on the bean identification sheet. Try to select 5 types of beans that are visibly different from one another. Prepare a quantity sufficient to fill two jars. One the size of a baby food jar and another jar the size of a jelly or jam jar.


Depending upon the number of students you may wish to fill multiple jars so that there is one of each size jar for every 4-5 students.




Learning Activities:
  1. By observing the beans in the small jars have the students to estimate the number of beans that are in each jar. Encourage students to brainstorm about what strategies they might use to make their estimation. Record students’ estimations on the board.

  2. Giving each group a small jar, ask the students to count and sort the beans into separate piles of the same beans. Using the Bean Identification Worksheet, have students identify the different piles of beans.

  3. 3. Ask students if they recognize any of the beans from the foods their family may prepare at home. Take this time to describe each of the beans selected for this activity such as the nutritional benefits and different dished these beans are commonly prepared in.

  4. Have students compare their actual count of the beans in the small jar to their estimation. Based on their observations and counts, have students work cooperatively in their groups to establish a process to determine how many beans are in the bigger jar.

  5. If time allots have students repeat the counting process of the beans in the bigger jar.




Have students identify three different beans and state how they differ in size and in color. Review with students the nutritional benefits of the beans.