Rock, Paper, Scissors Probability Lesson

Rock, Paper, Scissors Probability Lesson is an investigation into the mathematics of the popular game of the same name.  Students play Rock, Paper, Scissors (RPS), list possible outcomes, and analyze the theoretical and experimental probabilities in two versions of the game.  They interact with other students, collect data, judge the fairness of games, and participate in the RPS Tournament.

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Rock, Paper, Scissors Probability Lesson Preview Pages (4 of 8)

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Part of The Complete Collection of Lessons, Projects, and Games

(42 Math Lessons, Projects, and Games – 438 pages)

Included in Statistics, Data Analysis, and Probability Activities eBook

(5 Statistics, Data Analysis, and Probability Lessons and Projects)

 

Lesson Description:   Rock, Paper, Scissors is an investigation into the mathematics of the popular game of the same name.  Students play Rock, Paper, Scissors (RPS), list possible outcomes, and analyze the theoretical and experimental probabilities in two versions of the game.  They interact with other students, collect data, analyze the fairness of games, and have the opportunity to participate in the RPS Tournament.

Math Content:  Theoretical Probability, Experimental Probability, Collecting Data, Percents, Fair Game Analysis.

Time Required:  1-2 Class Periods

Rock, Paper, Scissors Probability Lesson includes:

  • 2 Rock, Paper, Scissors student worksheets
  • 2 Rock, Paper, Scissors student worksheet Answer Keys
  • 1 Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament Bracket
  • 2 Rock, Paper, Scissors Teacher Tips pages
  • 1 Rock, Paper, Scissors Cover Sheet              8 pages in all!

Materials Needed:  None

Suggested Grade Level:  5th-8th

Teacher Testimonial:  Rock, Paper, Scissors is a game that is well-known by students.  However, they have probably never played it as part of a class assignment.  In RPS the students get to enjoy the movement, participation, and competition inherent in this game while at the same time analyzing the mathematical probability behind two versions of the game.  They compare theoretical to experimental probability and judge the fairness of the games.  RPS is truly a “hands-on” learning activity.

Enjoy your lesson!!

Mark P. Tully

Teacher Feedback:

“I used the Rock, Paper, Scissors lesson with my pre-algebra kids and they really enjoyed it. I took pictures for open house….I also used the Rock, Paper, Scissors to demonstrate the difference between theoretical and experimental probability. I think it was that activity that allowed my students to make the connection that allowed them to answer a related question on their test correctly.”
-Linda Adrid, Suzanne Middle School, Walnut, CA