Some of you may know that I (Katie) homeschool my two teenagers. We use an online virtual academy program so we are usually pretty busy with the assignments that the online teachers give us, but sometimes we decide to conduct our own experiments and “research” to add a little fun into the mix. A few summers ago, we decided to do some graphing activities using m&m candies. We ended up having a great time and it is still a memory that my kids talk about frequently. Now that I’ve finally gotten around to making a layout about the experience, I thought it would be fun to share some ideas on how to use charts and graphs on digital scrapbook layouts.
We compared packages of 5 different types of m&m candies. We counted how many candies came in each package and made a bar graph using this website – so cool! There are other chart generators out there, but Mashable ranked the NCES Kids Zone tool I used as their top pick and it’s free!
We also figured out price per m&m based on this graph. We actually bought our m&ms at the gas station for .63 a package. They were .72 a package at the grocery store. (2009 prices)
- Milk Chocolate = .01125 per m&m
- Dark Chocolate = .01110 per m&m
- Peanut = .02739 per m&m
- Peanut Butter = .0225 per m&m
- Almond = .04846 per m&m
Clearly the dark chocolate and milk chocolate packages give you the biggest quantity of candies for the money at just over a penny per candy. The almond are the most expensive costing almost a nickel a piece. We should get the bigger packages next time and see if you save money buying in bulk.
Our favorite part of the activity was the blind taste test we conducted at the end. Yum! Riley’s favorite type was peanut butter with milk chocolate as a second choice. Alex liked peanut butter the best also but he really likes almond as well. My favorite is almond. I’m not really all that into the other ones but if I had to choose a second favorite it would be peanut. We put our results into a “pie chart” which looks like a pie divided into slices that represent the results.
There are many other ways to generate graphs and charts in programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, PowerPoint and Excel, but they are all much more complicated than this quick and easy web tool. The best thing about this website, is that you can download your graphs in several different formats, including .png files. Awesome for digi scrappers!
Once I downloaded my .png images, I had a lot of fun creating this layout.
supplies by Kaye Winiecki Spring Chase and Cottage Garden
What if you aren’t sitting around your house counting m&m candies? What else can you use charts and graphs for in your digital scrapbooking? Think of bar charts and pie graphs as just another way to illustrate numbers. It’s actually a lot more fun to see what facts look like instead of just reading a list of results!
I can tell you that I’ve been on the Paperclipping Digi Show podcast 21 out of the 41 episodes we’ve recorded, but isn’t it cool to SEE those numbers instead?
Or how about how many times we’ve traveled to Albuquerque since my parents moved there 7 years ago? We’ve been there 10 different times, but it’s interesting to see how they spread out over the years.
It’s also neat to visually see what months we usually travel to Albuquerque.
Graphing can be a useful and effective way to add interesting visuals to your digital scrapbook layouts. Use them along with photos, or instead of them when you need an illustration. I bet you’ll be hooked!