Beacon Lesson Plan Library

The Oreo Express

William Beard

Description

The Travel Channel will have nothing on you when you travel the Oreo Express! This lesson explores probability in the simplest form. Just think! Oreos and math, nothing could be finer than probability in the middle.

Objectives

Determines probabilities using counting procedures, tables, tree diagrams, and formulas for permutations and combinations.

Materials

-Pencils
-Enough coins for each pair of students (at least two denominations)
-An Oreo Express Worksheet for each student (See Associated File)

Preparations

1. Review the basic probability chapter in the text you are using.
2. Buy enough Oreo cookies for your use.
3. Have enough pencils for the class.
4. Make enough copies of The Oreo Express Worksheet for each student.
5. Have enough coins for each pair of students (at least two denominations).

Procedures

Note: This lesson does not address tree diagrams and formulas for permutations and combinations.

1. Ask the students, “Who would like to win a bag of Oreo cookies?”

2. Have students choose heads or tails. (After the activity, flip a coin and hand out the cookies to the winners.)

3. Divide the students into pairs.

4. Hand out coins to toss, at least two denominations, and the Oreo Express Worksheet for students to record their answers. (See Associated File)

Direct the students to do the following: (These steps are on the Oreo Express Worksheet.)

1. Make a tally table of the number of heads or tails for 100 coin tosses.

2. Record the total number of heads and tails.

3. Write a ratio (fraction) expressing the probability of heads. a.) Record the total number of heads as the numerator of the fraction. b.) Record the total number of heads and tails as the denominator of the fraction.

4. Write a ratio (fraction) expressing the probability of tails. a.) Record the total number of tails as the numerator of the fraction. b.) Record the total number of heads and tails as the denominator of the fraction.

5. Did the fraction look like what you thought it would look like? Explain.

6. Do you think the probability would change if a different coin was used? Explain.

7. Take a different type of coin and try the activity again. Record your results.

8. Were the results different? Why or why not?

Assessments

Use the completed Oreo Express Worksheet (See Associated File) to formatively assess the student’s ability to
determine probability using counting procedures, tables, and predictions.

The Oreo Express Rubric in the associated file includes the criteria for acceptable performance.
Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.