Two Coins, Three People (PT)

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    • #2123

      (For full lesson w/handouts, see link at bottom or attached document)


      2 coins for every 3 students


      Students will each be assigned an outcome for tossing 2 coins. By analyzing results, students will discover and explain the concept of equally likely outcomes.



      Pass out the activity sheet and have students read the scenario.  Make sure students understand why there are three options (events) by having someone explain this to the class. Then put the class into groups of 3 and have each person decide which event they will take.  Each student should write their name under their “event”.  Questions the students to make sure they understand that they need to complete 30 trials and to record tallies for each toss. Once they understand, pass out the dice and let them conduct the experiment.  When they complete the experiment, have them answer the two questions independently.  Take a quick poll to see if the class thinks the game was fair.  Have them vote thumbs up for fair, thumbs down for not fair and sideways thumb for not sure.

      Text Box: Results:
HH (Both Heads)

      (One of Each)

TT (Both Tails)
When all groups are done (or time is up), conduct a class poll.  Ask all students who had Both Heads as their event to stand up.  Then, have everyone site down from that group who did NOT win.  Have the class record a tally for each person still standing.  Repeat this process for each of the other two events (Both Tails and One of Each).  You should have almost every winner be from the “one of each” category.  Ask again, was this fair?  Tell students you need to further investigate the game to determine fairness, as it could be that all of the “one of each” group were just lucky.  To do this, draw a Tree diagram to show all possible outcomes. 

      Click to access 2Coins3People.pdf

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