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Sample Lesson Plan

Grades 3 - 5, Lesson 4:
Walk on the Probability Line

Suggestions for Evaluation of Activity:

Check communication for an understanding of using the words certain, impossible, likely and unlikely to happen and placing the event on a probability scale.


  • Place the 10-foot piece of ribbon on the floor in a straight line.

  • Ask students to name things they believe are impossible , such as raining ice cream cones. List their responses on the board.

  • Ask students to name events that are certain to happen, such as the sun coming up in the morning. Write their responses on the chalkboard.

  • Select three students to stand on the Probability Line and hold the cards saying 1=CERTAIN, 0=IMPOSSIBLE, and 50/50 .

  • Take out the cards with the pre-written events from Copy Master #3. Set the card "You will win the lottery" aside for later use.

  • Select a student and give him/her a card with a statement from Copy Master #3, such as "There will be a hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean this year" and ask if the event is impossible, is unlikely, has a 50/50 chance of happening, is likely, or is certain to happen. Ask the student to go to the Probability Line and stand where he/she believes the event should be. Ask the student to explain his/her reasoning.

  • Encourage all students to participate in a discussion about each event and where it belongs on the probability line.

  • Continue this process until all cards with events have been handed out.

  • Give the card "You will win the lottery" to a student to place on the Probability Line. Ask the student to explain that choice. Ask all students to discuss the answer.

time needed

~30 minutes

instructional design

Interactive demonstration and discussion

materials needed

  • Ribbon approximately 10 feet in length

  • Fourteen 8 1/2 x 11 cards with the following titles:
    1=CERTAIN, 0=IMPOSSIBLE, and 50/50
    Using Copy Master #3, Walk on the Probability Line, write each event onto the remaining cards.

learner outcomes

Students will be able to describe probability by evaluating the likelihood that certain events will occur.

Students will be able to evaluate the likelihood that events will occur by using a probability scale.

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