In this lesson, children will learn about probability, making predictions, and recording data.
The Math behind the Play (Notes for Teachers)
Probability is a measure of how often a particular event will happen if something is done repeatedly. For example, the probability of a coin coming up heads is 1 out of 2.
Play a guessing game with the children. Tell them that you are thinking of a color, then ask them to guess which color you are thinking of.
Consider giving clues. Clues for the color red might include:
- The color I am thinking of is the color of a round fruit.
- The color I am thinking of is also the color of some roses.
When the children have guessed the color, ask how they figured it out. Explain that the more clues you have, the easier it is to guess the correct answer.
Select a red, yellow, and blue brick from the set and place them in front of you. Tell the children that you are thinking of one of the three colors and ask them to guess which color it is.
When they have guessed the correct answer, ask them if it was easier or harder to guess the correct color in this game compared to the last game.
Explain that in this game, they only had three colors they could guess. However, there were no clues given.
Tell the children that you are going to read the beginning of a story about a group of people who are visiting STEAM Park. You can show them the inspiration photo or use the figures to act out the scene.
Read the following story aloud:
Arty and Teresa were visiting STEAM Park with Arty’s grandma, Ms. Engels. They saw their friend Parker, the park manager, operating the
Spin to Win game.
“Step right up and spin to win! Which color do you think the wheel will land on?” Parker asked.
“I think it’ll land on red because red is my favorite color!” Arty said.
“I think it’ll land on turquoise because there are three turquoise spaces and only one red space, one yellow space, and one blue space,” Teresa said.
“Ms. Engels, will you give the wheel a spin?” Parker asked.
Ms. Engels stepped up and spun the wheel with all of her strength.
Everyone watched as the wheel went round and round many times. It slowed down and ended up on the red space.
“Yes! Red is the best!” Arty cheered.
“Choose your prize from the red shelf!” Parker said.
Ask the children to look at the in-box building inspiration card of the wheel model and build it. Tell them that they will play a game using the wheel.
Once the wheel is built, show the children that the flag at the top is the pointer, and ask them which color they think the wheel will land on if someone spins it.
Explain that this is a game of chance and that no one knows for certain where the wheel will stop.
Tell the children that they can try to predict where the wheel will stop by judging the power of the spin and the distance around the wheel, but that it is not possible to make a good prediction.
Give each of the children one of the results graphs and ask them to take turns spinning the wheel and guessing which color the wheel will land on. After each spin, tell the children to place a mark in the box next to the color the wheel landed on.
After spinning the wheel several times, ask the children to look at their graphs and count how many times the wheel landed on each color.
Consider asking questions like:
- Which color do you predict it will land on next?
- If you spin the wheel three times, how many times do you predict it will land on turquoise? Why?
Explain that there are more turquoise spaces on the wheel than other colors and that this means there is a better chance or probability that the wheel will land on a turquoise space instead of one of the other colors.
Tell the children that they will be using the wheel to play another game.
Explain that they will take turns spinning the wheel and that each time the spinner lands on a color, everyone will choose a brick or an element that is that color.
Tell them that the wheel will be spun five times and at the end, they will try to build a prize using the bricks they choose.
Did you notice?
Observing the following skills can help you monitor whether the children are developing the necessary competencies in science, technology, engineering, art, and math.
- Making predictions
- Observing and describing what happens
- Recording data using graphs or charts
- Identifying numbers and counting quantities
- Practice making predictions
- Record data using graphs or charts
Children are able to:
- Make predictions
- Observe and describe what happens
- Record data using graphs or charts
- Identify numbers and count quantities