### Lesson plan

# Exploring Probability: What Are The Chances?

#### Learning Objectives

Students will be able to predict the probability of chance events based on statistical principles and data.

#### Introduction

*(5 minutes)*

- Pose the question, "How likely is it to snow tomorrow?" Ask students to discuss with an elbow partner and then write their response on an individual whiteboard or scratch paper.
- While students are discussing, create a horizontal line across the board, creating a continuum with
**Impossible**On one end and**Certain**On the other. - Share out a sampling of responses with the class and record some on the board. Before writing it on the board, ask the class where you should put each response on the continuum.

#### Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling

*(15 minutes)*

- Reflect on the class responses. Ask students how they landed at their prediction. What factors did they consider?
- Sample responses may include the season, the climate/region where the school is located, or the current weather pattern (has it been unusually hot/cold/rainy in the past few days?).

- Add the following words to your continuum: Likely and unlikely.
- Ask the class how their prediction would change if they were in the Arctic Circle or on the Equator.
- Provide more practise by offering another prompt of your choice and having students rate the probability of that event happening using the words on the continuum.

#### Guided practise

*(10 minutes)*

- Review the four probability terms: Impossible, unlikely, likely and certain. Explain that one area of maths that they likely don’t know much about is called
**Probability**. It is the science of predicting the future based on possible outcomes and past events. Provide the following examples:- Impossible: A dog will give birth to a cat. (This has never happened.)
- Unlikely: A human will have twins. (This happens but not very often.)
- Likely: Students will watch a TV show in the next two days. (This happens often but maybe not every day.)
- Certain: Students will complete year four. (There has not been a student in your class who hasn’t moved to year five. If this isn’t true then generate another statement.)

- Have students share out examples of events that they think fall into each category.

#### Independent working time

*(20 minutes)*

- Have students fold a paper into fourths so that when they unfold it there are equal sized rectangles.
- Instruct them to make a circle in the centre of the paper, about the size of the palm of their hand and write 'PROBABILITY' inside of it.
- Now, instruct them to write the four words in the quadrants, one in each. Then have them write a statement using each word appropriately and a drawing to go along with each one.

#### Differentiation

**Support**

- Provide more examples before moving to independent work.
- Provide sentence frames for probability statements.

**Enrichment**

- Have students find examples of probability in student current event periodicals, like
*Time for Kids*, or on child friendly news websites.

#### Assessment

*(5 minutes)*

- Instruct the students to use the following body signals to respond to the prompts.
- Certain: Stand with arms straight up.
- Likely: Stand with arms out like a T.
- Unlikely: Stand with arms down at sides.
- Impossible: Stand with arms folded in front of them.

- Prompts: With each prompt, allow some think time. Students should be considering whether this has occurred in the past and if so, how often.
- A polar bear walks into the classroom. (Students may say this is technically possible but since it has never happened before, we would say it is impossible.)
- The fire alarm gets pulled as a prank.
- You will have recess tomorrow.
- You will sleep tonight.
- You will go to the beach this summer.
- You will have a field trip before the end of the year
- Make up some of your own prompts and/or have students make some up for the class. You could also use some from student work.

#### Review and closing

*(5 minutes)*

- Discuss, "How have you seen probability used in your everyday life?? (Sports, weather forecasting, determining a parent’s response to a request for a sleepover or to see a movie, etc.)
- Also discuss, "How might people use probability in their jobs?"
- Share out examples and hang student work in the room.