Ice-Cream-Themed Math Lesson Plan

Integrate literacy, math and science with ice cream! Creating a Flavor (Day 1) Introduction Read “18 Flavors” by Shel Silverstein.[…]Continue Reading

Integrate literacy, math and science with ice cream!

Creating a Flavor

(Day 1)


Read “18 Flavors” by Shel Silverstein.

Tell the children that they are going to become ice cream inventors! Give them each an ice cream scoop template. Remind them that the color paper they choose represents what flavor of ice cream they are creating. The children will trace the template onto their paper. Then, they will cut it out. Afterwards, they decorate their scoops with any addends that are part of the flavors they invented (chocolate chips, fruit, candy, caramel, etc.). Have them write their names as well as the names of their flavors on the back of their paper scoop (for later use at a math station). Once they have decorated their scoops, they write a recipe for the flavor they invented.





Ice Cream Shop Math 

(Day 2)

Set up an ice cream shop with their flavors (paper scoops). There will be three people at the ice cream shop: one vendor and two customers. The customers will be given one cone each and dimes. The cost of one scoop is 10 cents. The customers will purchase the ice cream scoops with dimes (counting by 10s). 



They buy their scoops and measure the scoops they purchased using stacked Duplo blocks (non-standard ruler). They will count their blocks to figure out the length of the ice cream cones they purchase, starting their ruler at the bottom tip of their cone and ending at the top of their last ice cream scoop.




Students measure 18 scoops (like the poem) and then they have two free choice ice cream cones. They will construct a non-standard ruler out of Duplo blocks. They count how many blocks long their ice cream cone is starting from the bottom tip of the cone to the top of their last scoop. The vendor will collect their money and hand them the correct number of scoops they purchased. Afterwards, they must compare one free choice ice cream cone to one of their peer’s free choice ice cream cones as being taller or shorter. With help from their peers, they measure all of the ice cream scoops on a cone (31 = the total number of students).

Science / Closure
Celebrate with an ice cream party! Have the students vote on which flavor to create. Make a graph to show the results. Explore the science behind ice cream making. 

Here is a rubric I created for the students’ recipes, ice cream art, and math skills. Differentiated Assessment: For children that have difficulty writing in complete sentences, have them create a list of ingredients. Children that cannot count by 10s can purchase their ice cream scoops with pennies.

Erin Bittman has a BS in Fashion Design. She is currently studying early childhood education (K-3) at the University of Cincinnati. She will be a third grade student teacher in August 2014. Check out her blog:

E Is for Explore!