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20 October 2014
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Probability - lesson plan

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Objectives

ProbabilityTo recognise events that are impossible, unlikely, equally likely, likely and certain.

National Curriculum

Ma4, 2f.

Resources

  • Online activities:
    • Bitesize probability section: play, quiz
  • Worksheets:
  • Other resources:
    • Demonstration die marked 1 to 6
    • Demonstration die with coloured stickers (four red sides, two yellow sides)
    • Probability fan (one per child) marked impossible, unlikely, equal chance, likely, certain
    • Computers
    • Number cards marked 1 to 10, 1 to 20
    • Bags or other containers

You will need Adobe Acrobat reader to access the PDF files. BBC Webwise has a complete guide to downloading and installing Adobe Acrobat reader.

Teaching activities

Introduction

  1. Hold up a 1 to 6 dice.
  2. Explain to the class that you are going to throw the die 30 times and see how many times each number is rolled.
  3. Draw a tally chart ready for the results and ask the class if they can guess some results.
  4. Choose five children to roll the die six times and record the results. Were they as expected?
  5. Explain that all the numbers have an equal chance of being rolled. Ask if a 7 could be rolled? How likely is this? Why?
  6. Write the following probability terms on the board or a poster for revision - impossible, unlikely, equal chance, likely, certain.
  7. Show the children the coloured sticker demonstration die and give each child a probability fan.
  8. Ask the children to hold up the answers to the following questions - What are the chances of rolling a yellow (unlikely)? What are the chances of rolling a red (likely)? What are the chances of rolling a purple (impossible)?

Activity


Lower ability - Play the Bitesize probability game. Demonstrate the first part of the activity and then show the children how to use the lever on the probability machine. Small groups or pairs can then work through the remainder of the activity on the class computers.

Middle ability - Ask the children to take a set of number cards 1 to 10, put them in a bag and then draw and replace a card 30 times. They should draw up a tally chart of their results and then convert this to a tally chart of odd and even numbers. What are the chances of drawing a 5 (1 in 10 or one tenth)? How many 5s do they predict should be drawn (3)? Is this the case? What are the chances of drawing an odd number (1 in 2 or one half)? How many odd numbers do they predict should be drawn (15)? Is this the case?

Higher ability - Ask the children to take a set of number cards, 1 to 20, put them in a bag and then to draw and replace a card 30 times. They should draw up a tally chart of their results. What are the chances of drawing a multiple of 4? A multiple of 5? A prime number? And so on.


Plenary


Ask a pair of children to talk to the class about their number card tally charts and results. Were they as expected?

Extension


Ask the children to work through the Bitesize probability quiz or complete the Probability worksheet (PDF 54KB). The children could also have a go at the Digger and the Gang Chance and Probability sheet.

Homework


Ask the children to roll a 1 to 6 die 50 times. What patterns do they notice? What are the chances of drawing an odd number? An even number? A multiple of 4? A multiple of 2?

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