This is a fun, engaging 3 part activity including lesson plan that will have your kids so engaged they will forget they are actually learning math. Students will first work in groups/partners and simulate a crab derby race in a game using the sum of two dice to see whose crab will cross the finish line first. Then, they will complete a matrix of possible outcomes when two dice are tossed and added together to get particular sums. They will answer questions that apply to both theoretical and experimental probability about their race results. Finally, I included a follow up sheet that can be completed in class or for homework to assess the students' understanding. Please check out the preview so you can read the lesson plan and see the entire activity.
Although this meets the common core standards listed below for 7th grade, it could easily apply to other grade levels. The main goal of this activity is to have students find theoretical probability of an event, compare it to what actually takes place in a simulation/experiment, and to reason that they should take probability into consideration when making certain decisions or choices in real life.
Common Core Standards: Investigate chance processes and develop, use, and evaluate probability models.
Understand that the probability of a chance event is a number between 0 and 1 that expresses the likelihood of the event occurring. Larger numbers indicate greater likelihood. A probability near 0 indicates an unlikely event, a probability around 1/2 indicates an event that is neither unlikely nor likely, and a probability near 1 indicates a likely event.
Approximate the probability of a chance event by collecting data on the chance process that produces it and observing its long-run relative frequency, and predict the approximate relative frequency given the probability. For example, when rolling a number cube 600 times, predict that a 3 or 6 would be rolled roughly 200 times, but probably not exactly 200 times.
Develop a probability model and use it to find probabilities of events. Compare probabilities from a model to observed frequencies; if the agreement is not good, explain possible sources of the discrepancy.
Created by Rockin’ Middle School Math