Probability: Chances Are

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In this math lesson, learners identify the likelihood of an event by using a walk-on probability scale. Learners are encouraged to evaluate the chance of given events occurring and assigning the event a position on the probability scale. The activity immerses learners in experiences that promote discourse about probabilistic notions.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Ribbon approximately 10 feet in length
  • Three 9 in x 12 in cards with the following titles: 1 - CERTAIN; 0 - IMPOSSIBLE; 1/2
  • Toy basketball hoop and foam basketball
  • Graphic organizers
  • Large probability scales (24 inches long)
  • Sticky dots labeled A,B,C,D,E,F
  • Activity Sheets: Talking Probability


  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
      • Probability
    • Number and Operations
      • Fractions


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, PBS, 2012

Funding Source:

  • US Department of Education