How Many Jelly Beans?

Free lesson plan, writing template and printable word-search for kids

how many jelly beans

Best suited to:

K – Year 2

KLAs covered:

Maths, English (questions)


  • what does 100 look like?
  • what does 500 look like?
  • what does 10,000 look like?
  • sharing/division: 1000 jellybeans is a lot but it’s only 2-3 per day spread over a year;
  • interpreting data: which flavour is Aiden’s favourite? Which is his least favourite?

Need to know:

  • helps children begin to visualise numbers from 10 to one million;
  • where a number of jelly beans is specified in the story, that exact number of jelly beans appears in the illustration;
  • a large fold-out illustration at the end shows one million jelly beans – children love this!
  • you will need a helper at the end of the story to help you unfold the last illustration;
  • works well paired with The Big Numbers Song on YouTube. You can have this playing as the children enter the room after recess to set the scene for a discussion about big numbers;

Discussion Questions (before reading):

  • this book is actually better when you read it without any discussion beforehand;
  • tell the children this is a fun book and that there’s a surprise at the end!
  • tell the children the book is about a brother and sister called Aiden and Emma;

While reading: 

  • after reading the first two pages, tell the children that, in this book, whenever a number of jelly beans is mentioned, there are exactly that many jelly beans in the illustration;
  • invite the children to count the jelly beans on page 2 with you (when Emma says she’d like 10 jelly beans);
  • after reading page 4, ask the children to confirm that there are 20 jelly beans. How do they know?
  • on the page where the jelly beans are shown on the calendar, tell the children that this is showing 1000 jelly beans spread out over all the days in one year;
  • on the page which mentions stacking 5,000 jelly beans, ask the children ‘could you really stack jelly beans up on top of one another?’
  • after reading the page where Aiden mentions the different flavours of jelly beans he’d choose, ask the children ‘which flavour is his least favourite?’ and ‘which flavour is his favourite?’
  • after reading the last page, choose a helper to stand on your left to help you to unfold the pages showing one million jelly beans;



  • children write about their favourite part of the story and illustrate;
  • How many jelly beans is too many? Children write about how many jelly beans they would choose, their favourite flavour and how many jelly beans they think they could eat (at one time? in a week? in a day?)
  • children draw the number of jelly beans they would like on the hand template (coming soon), count them and write how many they have chosen;



Use the numeracy pack available for purchase (coming soon) or do these activities as a whole class on the whiteboard:

  • creating number sentences: for example, children draw 5 jelly beans a + sign and then 3 jelly beans and an = sign and write the total;
  • counting: how many jelly beans do I have?
  • friends of 10: how many more jelly beans will make 10?
  • Big Numbers Bingo
  • data: counting, tallying and graphing jelly beans by colour;
  • sharing/dividing jelly beans;
  • surveying/data collection: what is each class member’s favourite jelly bean flavour/colour?

Your free, printable word-search for kids and writing template

This free, printable word-search for kids is great for building and reinforcing the vocabulary used when discussing How Many Jelly Beans?

Download and print our free writing template for use with the picture book How Many Jelly Beans? here (PDF).

a flamboyance of flamingos
my name is not refugee
bee & me
lest we forget
the peace book