Are you looking for ways to liven up your probability lesson? Take a look at this lovely resource of fifteen activities that even the most advanced students will enjoy! Most students have had experience with probability in their daily lives but don’t even realize it! With these exciting probability games, you can show them just how simple finding probabilities can be. Whether you’re looking to cover conditional probability or theoretical probabilities, this list will prove to be a great supplement to your statistics classes.
1. Single Events Video
This video, and the basic probability questions that follow, are a wonderful way to begin your probability unit. Students will love watching a video as it provides a break from the teacher. Best of all, this brilliant resource comes with an online quiz game to play at the end!
Learn More: Generation Genius
2. Compute Using the Z-Score Calculator
After learning about what a Z-score is and how the Z-Table works with the area under the curve, have students play with this calculator. Detailed instructions for students can be found at the link below along with additional educational resources for normal distributions.
Learn More: Z-Table
3. Menu Toss Up
Begin your unit on probability by featuring a basic restaurant menu! This short video will explain the idea of compound probability to your statistics students. Turn this into a homework collection activity where students are tasked with bringing in a menu from their favorite restaurant to analyze.
Learn More: PBS Learning Media
4. Practice Relative Frequency
Gather coins, dice, or regular playing cards for this amazing probability experiment. Provide students with a frequency table to record the frequency of outcomes. Each student finds the probability of an event happening ten times and then uses results from the whole class to see how a larger sample leads to the expected outcome.
Learn More: Interactive Maths
5. Play Deal or No Deal
Here is a probability fair- an online game where students work with a 0-1 probability scale. A zero means that the event is not likely to happen whereas a one means that the event will most likely happen. Students will love this chance event game!
Learn More: XP Math
6. The Great Cookie Race
A little prep work is needed for this. The cookie papers need to be laminated so students can write on them with dry-erase markers. Once that is done, this probability game is a fun way to record dice rolls. You will also need one score sheet to record the whole class’ data after students play in pairs.
Learn More: Math Wire
7. Free the Animals
Probability activities are so much more fun when cute animals are involved. Students will learn the effects of probability on freeing caged animals in this one-die toss game. What is the probability you will roll the correct number to free the animal? Who can free them all first?
8. Powerball and MegaMillion Probability
Is playing the lottery and gambling really worth it? Learn about your chances of winning with this compound probability activity that is sure to engage every student in your math class.
Learn More: Yummy Math
9. Probability Tree Model
Some students may be confused by probability trees, also called frequency trees, while others may find tree diagrams to be extremely helpful. Either way, having students draw their own trees is a great way to build on their understanding of probability. Check out this excellent resource to see how it works.
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10. Probability Sort
This is a great hands-on activity for your statistics students as it shows the principles of probability using both words and pictures. Students will enjoy getting their hands involved to place these cutouts into the correct spots. Sort individually or in pairs.
Learn More: Alyssa Teaches
11. Play With Skittles
Consider bringing in a bag of Skittles for each student to conduct their own probability investigation. Have them record how many of each color are in the bag they received. From there, have them calculate the probability of receiving each color. Lastly, compare your results with the class!
Learn More: 123 Homeschool
12. Play the Spinner
We all have mixed feelings about fidget spinners. You can decide to not include them in your studies of probability and instead spin a virtual one with this decision-maker. The drop-down at the top also allows you to choose between many more items to spin.
Learn More: Math is Fun
13. Play Kahoot
Here is a fun and interactive way to learn the vocabulary of probability. Visit Kahoot for a full list of pre-made probability quizzes and games. Students win by both answering correctly and answering the fastest. This would be a great way to review before a test.
Learn More: Kahoot
14. Play Quizlet
If you haven’t used Quizlet before, the flashcard function is an engaging way for students to memorize vocabulary. After students have studied a set, you can launch a Quizlet Live game that will get the whole class working together!
Learn More: Quizlet
15. Play Fair Spinners
The PDF in the link below has everything you need to play this fun game, starting on page ten. You will need groups of four to play and will also need two spinners. One spinner will be fair and the other not so fair. Students will see how probabilities and fairness are intertwined.
Learn More: Math Academy