Probability Rules (even if students don't think so) (Topics 4.3-4.5)

Chapter 5 - Day 3

Learning Targets
  • Give a probability model for a random process with equally likely outcomes and use it to find the probability of an event.

  • Use basic probability rules, including the complement rule and the addition rule for mutually exclusive events..

Activity: The Last Banana
Answer Key:

This lesson was inspired by a presentation we saw from AP Stats all-star teacher Doug Tyson. It challenges students to make a decision based on probabilistic intuition. We start by showing them the first 38 seconds of this video:

A good majority of students (incorrectly) choose to be Player 1. What better place for learning than a situation that goes against your natural intuition. Students will then play the game with a partner (virtual dice here), collect class data (use this Google sheet for remote instruction) and then work their way through the questions in the activity.

Experience First, Formalize Later (EFFL)

This lesson is a great example of students doing the thinking and reasoning before the teacher formalizes the learning. Students get a chance to use and think about sample space, the general addition rule, complement rule before we even use this vocabulary. The experience will allow students to internalize the learning and hold on to it long-term. This is exactly the philosophy of the Experience First, Formalize Later (EFFL) approach to teaching statistics.