We began the project by discussing gambling, casinos and fairgrounds. We looked at what these games had in common - the house was more likely to win, but they were addictive and fun. The challenge that I set them was to create a game with a 0.3 - 0.5 chance of winning, but that was fun and addictive. They had the rest of the first lesson, plus one more lesson as class time to work on their games. The rest was homework with the fair scheduled for 2 weeks time!
- Gone Gamblin' - a higher or lower game using one suit of cards. Players started with $1000 and had to gamble higher or lower over a 5 card spread, they had to end on $6000 or more to win.
- Dunk the ball - Throw a ball into different pots, and gain a total of more than 8 points, but the number of points for each cup was hidden.
- Throw in Holes - Players had to spin a spinner to determine the number of throws and then score above 4 by throwing a tennis ball into holes.
- Hit the Stack - This was a coconut shy of sorts, where players could choose between 5 balls but bouncing or 3 balls with no bounce.
- Lonely hearts - Card matching. This game had 3 hidden pairs in 24 cards. By turning over 6 cards players had to eaither find 2 pairs or the king and queen of hearts.
I then organised for all the other year 7 groups to have a 10 minute slot during one of the last lessons of term to come in and play our games. This took a little bit of convincing as it wasn't part of our normal syllabus and would take time out of preplanned work. This kind of activity is also a little more lively than the average lesson at my school. I sent out invites to the rest of the school and tried to drum up some excitement amongst year 7.
From a teaching perspective, this activity helped pull together a lot of ideas relating to probability, it fostered excellent team work, it was fun and memorable and different. I was amazed at how much came from this and how easy it was to set up.
Please let me know (by email) if you have any questions on need any extra resources as this is such a fun and versatile activity.)