Roll the Dice – Probability & Statistics

Middle School and High School Teacher

Students will learn about probability and statistics while rolling dice and flipping a coin carefully recording their results.

Grade Level: 5 - 6th

Subject: Math

Length of Time: Two 45 Minute Periods

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Common Core Alignment

CCSS.Math.Content.6.SP.B.5.A - Reporting the number of observations.

CCSS.Math.Content.6.SP.B.5.B - Describing the nature of the attribute under investigation, including how it was measured and its units of measurement.

CCSS.Math.Content.6.SP.B.5.C - Giving quantitative measures of center (median and/or mean) and variability (interquartile range and/or mean absolute deviation), as well as describing any overall pattern and any striking deviations from the overall pattern with reference to the context in which the data were gathered.

CCSS.Math.Content.6.SP.B.5.D - Relating the choice of measures of center and variability to the shape of the data distribution and the context in which the data were gathered.

Objectives & Outcomes

The learners will be able to understand the concept of probability and use their results to make predictions in real world situations and applications.

Materials Needed

  • One die and coin for each student
  • plain white paper
  • pencil


Opening to Lesson

  • Give one die to each student in the classroom.
  • Have them stand in a line at an empty table, desk, or floor area.
  • Each one will roll the die, and depending on the number rolled they will be sent to a predetermined area of the room.  (Example:  roll 1, 2, 3 go to…, roll 4, 5, 6 go to…)  The students should be close to evenly divided.
  • The teacher will ask a variety of questions to peak students’ interest such as, “Why did some of you roll sixes, and others roll ones?”  And other similar questions.
  • Teacher will direct students back to their seats

Body of Lesson


  • Teacher will demonstrate coin tossing and the chances of getting a heads or a tails.
  • Teacher will display large copy of results chart and demonstrate how to record die information and coin tossing results

Guided Practice

  • Each student will use their materials and flip the coin 100 times recording the results
  • Student will then analyze the results and make a prediction for the next 100 flips
  • Student will again record the results of the 100 flips
  • Each student will use their materials and roll the die 100 times recording the results
  • Student will then analyze the results and make a prediction for the next 100 rolls
  • Student will again record the results of the 100 rolls
  • The teacher will demonstrate how to show probability in fraction form

Independent Practice

  • The teacher will give each student a worksheet illustrating a full deck of playing cards
  • On a separate page there will be questions about the probability of choosing aces, diamonds, face cards, etc.
  • The teacher will collect the completed page.  This will be used as an assessment.


Ask students to give real world applications and situations of probability.  Prompt students for answers such as weather predictions, sports, and many others.

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Assessment & Evaluation

Using an illustrated handout (worksheet) with a set number of playing cards (each suit represented, face cards, etc.), the students will answer questions related to the probability of choosing certain named card, suits, etc.

Modification & Differentiation

Students may work in pairs.  Use spinners instead of dice.  Introduce colored M&Ms or Skittles, or other examples of randomness.  Students could make graphs showing results.  Discuss variables that may change typical results.

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