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Rock, Paper, Scissors and Tree Diagrams
January 26, 2012

This classic game is a great idea from my colleague Lee Gould, to use when introducing tree diagrams.

Pupils play the game in pairs 30 times. Each game is recorded in a simple tally chart, noting if player A wins, player B wins or a draw. Pupils can then look at the relative frequency from their results as well as the whole class results. You can then have discussion about theoretical probability, expectancy and relative frequency.

The tree diagram includes two events; player a’s three options and player b’s three options as independent events. The resultant outcomes are either A wins, B wins or draw. Here you can re-iterate the Or & And rules, as well as recap how to deal with fractions.

Rules of the game; I use this picture to remind pupils of which beats which! Yes unfortunately not all my pupils on one class knew the rules!

Where as avid watchers of Friends sitcom asked “Miss, is Fire allowed? It beats everything but water baloon”.

Resources; Probability Tree Diagrams Here is the power point kindly shared by my colleague Lee Gould, (authored by CBillet) to collect the results and put them into a simple independent tree diagram.

Just for fun; Check out this online game where you play against the computer.

If you use this in class, take a picture and post on twitter @numberloving we’d love to see our ideas in action. Get in touch @numberloving and visit our NumberLoving store for free and premium resources!!

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Sharon Derbyshire

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