Lesson 2

Playing with Probability

Lesson Narrative

The mathematical purpose of this lesson is to make connections to prior knowledge about probability and to use probability to interpret data. The work of this lesson connects to previous work because students learned about chance events and probability in previous grades. The work of this lesson connects to upcoming work because students will describe and use the sample space for chance experiments to calculate the probability of compound events. In the take turns activity, students trade roles explaining their thinking and listening, providing opportunities to explain their reasoning and critique the reasoning of others (MP3).

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Describe (in writing) the sample space for chance experiments. Use the sample space to calculate the probability of compound events.
  • Generate (in writing) and critique (orally) probability models that meet specific criterion.

Student Facing

  • Let’s explore probability

Required Preparation

Prepare paper bags with cut-up slips for the warm-up. The paper bags should contain slips of paper with the names from the blackline master.

  • Bag 1: Clare x3, Mai x5, Jada x7
  • Bag 2: Andre x1, Diego x6, Elena x8
  • Bag 3: Noah x10, Elena x3, Priya x2
  • Bag 4: Clare x10, Mai x3, Jada x2
  • Bag 5: Andre x9, Diego x4, Elena x2

One paper bag containing cut-up slips of the letters in PIZZAPIZZA for the Teacher Lesson Synthesis.

Learning Targets

Student Facing

  • I can find the sample space for chance experiments.
  • I can model situations using probability.
  • I can use sample space to calculate probability.

CCSS Standards

Building On


Building Towards

Glossary Entries

  • chance experiment

    A chance experiment is something you can do over and over again, and you don’t know what will happen each time.

    For example, each time you spin the spinner, it could land on red, yellow, blue, or green.

    A spinner
  • event

    An event is a set of one or more outcomes in a chance experiment. For example, if we roll a number cube, there are six possible outcomes.

    An image showing the six different sides of a number cube

    Examples of events are “rolling a number less than 3,” “rolling an even number,” or “rolling a 5.”

  • outcome

    An outcome of a chance experiment is one of the things that can happen when you do the experiment. For example, the possible outcomes of tossing a coin are heads and tails.

  • probability

    The probability of a chance event is a number from 0 to 1 that expresses the likelihood of the event occurring, with 0 meaning it will never occur and 1 meaning it will always occur.

  • sample space

    The sample space is the list of every possible outcome for a chance experiment.

    For example, the sample space for tossing two coins is:

    heads-heads tails-heads
    heads-tails tails-tails