`ProbabilityMary J. Holder                 Sherwood Elementary School                               245 West 57th Street                               Chicago IL 60621                               (312) 535-0829Objective:Probability: A number that tells how likely it is that something will happen. An educated guess.  The purpose of this lesson is to introduce children to the skill of probability.  This lesson is designed for grades four and five, however may be used at any grade level depending on the level and the ability of the children. Materials Needed:A bag of ten pennies for every two children, color pencils or markers, graph paper, six-sided dice, M & M candy (any variety of M & M candies).Strategy:Teacher's Opening:I have some candy.  I am going to place 5 pieces in the bag.  Four will be yellow and one will be green.  Which will be most likely to pick out of the bag? Which will be least likely to pick?  Why do you think?  Add more candy to the bag and several different colors until you reach the number 10. Activity #1: Coin TossEach group will receive a bag with ten pennies, a sheet of graph paper and markers.  On the graph paper will be the following combinations:HHH,HHT,HTH,HTT,THH,THT,TTH,TTT.  The students then will number the left side of the graph paper from 1 to 10 starting at the bottom.  Take out three pennies from the bag.  Throw the pennies 10 times and see which of the combinations will fall.  Shade in the graph according to one of the combinations.  Establish with the students the rules.  The penny that falls closest to them is 1st, one in the middle is 2nd, one farthest away is 3rd.  After the ten tries, have one child from each group come to the front of the class and discuss the outcomes of each throw.  Students will then take the entire bag of ten pennies and make one throw.  Group together all heads and tape together in a line end to end.  Repeat for tails and compare the results.  Activity # 2 M & M                                             Divide the students into groups of twos.  Give each group one bag of M & M.  One sheet of graph paper and markers for the colors of the M & M.  Have the students to write the colors of the M & M at the bottom of the sheet and number the paper on the left starting at the bottom from 1 to 10.  Remove one M & M at a time and color in that color.  Let the students do this for the 10 tries.  Discuss the outcomes with each group of students.  Students may use the remaining M & Ms to complete the graph showing the total number of M & M's in the bag.Activity #3 SpinnerGive each group a spinner with the numbers 1 through 6.  The students are to take three tries at spinning to see if the spinner will stop on the number 1.Students then may illustrate or show the results of the spins on the chalkboard.Performance Assessment:Give each group a bag of M & M peanuts, or peanut butter.  Graph the number of each color and compare the results with the previous activity results.  References:World Book Encyclopedia; Aims Activity`