In this lesson students will be experimenting with chance processes using the game Pass the Pigs. Given two small pig figurines, students will have to predict how often, when tossed in the air, both of the pigs will land on their side, or a “Pig Out,” versus how many times either one of both of the pigs does not land on their side. The pigs can either land on their side, standing up on their feet, lying down on their backs, or balancing on their front feet and their snout. Students will make their hypothesis regarding this chance process, and then will conduct an experiment to find out the real likelihood of getting a “Pig Out” while playing the game.
This lesson would score a 5 when aligning it with GAISE report recommendations and the CCSSM Standards for 6-8 graders. In agreement with the GAISE report, this lesson accomplishes four tasks: formulate a question, design and implement a plan to collect the data, analyze the data by measures and graphs, and interpret the results in the context of the original question. This would be placed under the Level A qualifications in the GAISE report. This lesson also aligns with CCSSM Standards 7.SP.5 and 7.SP.6. 7.SP.5 states “Understand that the probability of a chance event is a number between 0 and 1 that expresses the likelihood of the event occurring. Larger numbers indicate greater likelihood. A probability near 0 indicates an unlikely event, a probability around 1/2 indicates an event that is neither unlikely nor likely, and a probability near 1 indicates a likely event,” so students will learn what it means to assign a probability to an event based on the probability’s magnitude, and will also come to see that, over time, their results will generally be similar to each other. 7.SP.6 states “Approximate the probability of a chance event by collecting data on the chance process that produces it and observing its long-run relative frequency, and predict the approximate relative frequency given the probability,” and the students will be developing the probability of landing a “Pig Out” combination, and testing whether or not that probability holds true through repeated testing.