Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Logo
Lesson Overview
  • 60 Minutes
  • 3, 4, 9
  • K - 2nd Grade
  • State Standards:
    K.G.5, 1.OA.5, 1.MD.2, 2.OA.2, 2.NBT.5, 2.MD.2, 2.MD.1

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Materials List
  • Assortment of pasta varieties
  • Food Coloring
  • Gallon sized zipper bags
  • ┬áRubbing alcohol (1/2 cup for every 2 cups of pasta)

From Wheat to Macaroni

Categories: Math , Spanish , Agriculture , Plants

Students will discover that pasta comes from wheat and use pasta to complete several fun math activities.

Consider grinding wheat in class to show students how wheat is processed into a product that is used in pasta. Grain grinders and materials can be borrowed through our lending library.
Part I: Making Colored Pasta
1) Add 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol and 20 drops of food coloring to zip sealed plastic bag. Swish well to mix.
2) Add 2 cups of a variety of pastas to have an assortment of every color and size of pasta to the bag and zip closed. Mix it up well.
3)Lay each bag flat and flip every 30 minutes for 2 hours (or until you reach the color you desire.
4) Open the bag, drain the alcohol and spread the pasta on a newspaper to dry overnight.
5) Store in zipping plastic bag or other container.

Part II: Pasta as Math

1) Construct addition and subtract on problems for students to solve you can use the attached worksheet for your students or glue pasta noodles on to a piece of paper and have students solve the addition and subtraction problems from there.
2) Students can also use pasta to create shapes using the Pasta as Shapes Worksheet.
Other Variations: Give students a handful of a variety of different pasta noodles and have them separate the pasta by types and then graph how much of each they received.

Part III: Pasta as a Measurement

1) Using the Pasta Measurement worksheet, have students choose a nonstandard measurement unit (such as a pasta noodle) to measure the three pictures of pasta on the worksheet.
2) Students will then use a ruler to measure the pasta noodle in inches and centimeters.