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Lesson Plan

1. Predict the likelihood of a random event: Getting gumballs (C)

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP3 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP3
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP4 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP4
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.7.SP.C.5 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/7/SP/C/5
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Lesson objective: Understand that we can generate hypotheses about the likelihood of an event by counting possible outcomes and favorable outcomes.

Students bring prior knowledge of part-to-part and part-to-whole comparisons from 6th Grade (6.RP.A.1). This prior knowledge is extended to reasoning about the likelihood of a random event as students count and compare outcomes. A conceptual challenge students may encounter is thinking that the outcome of a random event is purely based on luck and cannot be predicted through reasoning. 

The concept is developed through work with a probability line, which shows the continuum of likelihoods from impossible to certain.

This work helps students deepen their understanding of number because they compare the number of chances for a specified outcome to the number of chances for other outcomes, or the total number of possible outcomes.

Students engage in Mathematical Practice 3 (Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others) as they explain their reasoning about why their mixes of gumballs support Paige's prediction. 

Key vocabulary:

  • certain
  • impossible
  • likely
  • outcomes
  • possible
  • unlikely

Special materials needed:

  • (optional) Coloring supplies could enhance student work, enabling students to show their gumball mixes in color, though they could also describe the mixes in words
Related content

Appears in

Probability of simple events

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