Will he? Won't he?


The purpose of this activity is to engage students in considering another’s statement about the probability of an outcome in a game of chance.

Achievement Objectives
S1-2: Interpret statements made by others from statistical investigations and probability activities.
Description of Mathematics

In readiness for this problem, the students should be familiar with the language of probability, including understanding that ‘sure’ conveys the meaning of certainty, and that ‘might’ indicates uncertainty.

This activity may be carried out with guidance, or by allowing the student to follow their own method of solution. The approach should be chosen in sympathy with students’ skills and depth of understanding.


Maddie and Max are playing Memory Tens. Here are their cards. 

They’ve turned them over like this and mixed them up.

They are taking turns to turn over two cards. If the pair adds to ten, the person keeps them. Maddie goes first. She turns these cards over.

Max says, “ Now I’m sure to get a pair that makes ten next.”

Do you agree with Max? Say why or why not.

Note to teacher: This activity requires materials for illustration. Make playing cards available.

The visual approach (show more)

  • The student is able to use images and/or objects to represent a problem and find a solution.

The conceptual approach (show more)

  • The student is able to solve a problem using sharing and other strategies, to find unknown addends.

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