In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about data, basic probability, and chance. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Basic Probability topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching Basic Probability
What will the weather be like today? Together as a class, review different weather forecasts. Use different forecasts from the Internet, newspaper, radio, and news programs on television. You may want to research the weather from the same date in previous years. Then, test their predictions. Have students measure the temperature everyday and record their observations of the weather. You can make a rain or snow gauge by placing a plastic ruler in a clear cup and leaving it in an open space. How accurate were the forecasts?
Toss a Coin
Remind your classroom that it is equally likely for a coin to land on heads or tails. Have small groups or pairs toss a coin one hundred times. Have them make a tally chart to record their results. After the tenth, fiftieth, and seventy-fifth tosses, have your students assess how the results have changed. Did their coin land on heads or tails the same number of times? Why might tossing the coin over a thousand times get a more accurate result?
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching Basic Probability
Discuss what is certain and impossible with your child. Then make a list of goals that you and your child will be certain to accomplish. Goals might include reading everyday, learning a new word each day, or learning a new skill. Post the goals in your home and refer to them when needed.
Find a board game that uses a spinner. Together with your child, make your own spinner for the game. Model the same spinner, except change a few elements, such as colors or the size of the sections on the spinner. You can use a pin or a brad to fasten an arrow that spins. Then play the game together using the new spinner. How did the game change? Was it fair or unfair? Why?