Downloaded over 200 times, the Probability Carnival Games Project has become a fun and hands on math project for classrooms all around the world! The carnival is a highly anticipated yearly event at our school. We bring elementary students to the middle school classrooms and allow them to play the games and win prizes. It’s a lot of fun for everyone!
In this project, students design and man a game with compound events. Students must submit a game proposal and get approved by their teacher, calculate the theoretical probability of winning each prize, and then collect data and determine experimental probability.
Check out what this teacher said:
Thank you so much for this fun activity! My 8th graders embraced the challenge of creating carnival games, and then my awesome colleagues also embraced it, and my team had a carnival day! We were outside the whole day playing the kids’ games – complete with a ticket booth! The kids loved it, and I have gotten nothing but compliments from our entire community! I can’t thank you enough! This will now be a yearly activity for our team!
Probability Games Teacher Tips
I had a hard time with the Probability Carnival Games Project when students wanted to design games like throwing a dart at a target. Due to the millions of possibilities of where the dart could land, it can be very difficult to calculate the actual simple or compound probability for such an event. Try to encourage your students to create games where the probability of an event is clearly defined. Things like: pick a card from a selection, spin a spinner, or rolling a die work well.
Prizes can be determined based on levels such as: if you roll one 6 you earn a small prize, but two sixes in a row wins a larger prize as it’s less likely.
Probability Project Ideas
I recently discovered a blog post by another teacher who has done this project! Check out her sample student work.
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