Probability Lesson 1: Four-tunate Fours

Australian curriculum number (ACMSP144; ACMSP145)

Lesson abstract

This lesson explores probability in some real world settings. Students examine (fictitious) magazine covers that show statements of chance in sport and money settings in everyday language and link to probability language. They represent probabilities as fractions, decimals and percentages. They discuss probabilities that arise in playing a game of chance, and use this information when creating their own unfair game of chance.

Mathematical purpose (for students)

Probabilities can be described using fractions, decimals and percentages.

Mathematical purpose (for teachers)

This lesson builds a bridge to probability language through common situations and language. Students review their prior understanding of probability as the fraction of all outcomes that are favourable and apply this by counting outcomes for choosing numbers from a hundreds chart, and by finding some simple probabilities related to games. They consider whether the probabilities of winning are equal for all players in an interesting game, discuss fairness in probability terms and design a game where the probabilities of winning are not equal.

At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Describe the probability of an event using fractions, decimals and percentages.
  • Define key language for use with probability activities.
  • Explain how a game can be unfair and biased in favour of one player.