Single Event Probability


Oh, how I love probability! Statistics was my favorite math class in high school AND in college. Unfortunately, I often find that my 7th graders don't always share the same passion. I get a lot of the, "you like it because you are a MATH teacher, Mrs. Helman." Anyway, I always get excited when the probability unit comes around and I try to make it as fun as possible. Here is an outline of the materials I use when teaching single event probability to my math 7 class.


I start off with a set of digital notes to introduce the basics of probability. I really like to emphasize the "probability scale," which is essentially a number line showing that probability can range from a 0 (impossible) to a 1 (certain). We discuss several different scenarios and try to decide where they would fall on the scale. Examples include:

  • Chances Mrs. Helman eats a hamburger with onion and pickles and loves it. (yuck, definitely impossible)

  • Chances Mrs. Helman uses hand sanitizer in class today. (highly likely, I am a huge germaphobe)

  • Chances it snows in May. (highly unlikely, but you never know with Ohio weather)

I like to have a lot of fun with this discussion. You could always have students create their own scale and determine events involving their own life. Here is an image of the scale I use in my digital notes:

Once we finish discussing the probability scale, we talk about the mathematical formula that is used to determine the probability of an event. We go over a couple practice problems where students have to use the letters in the word 'MATHEMATICS' to determine some probability problems.

On the final slide of the notes, students complete a click and drag activity where they have to match different single event probability problems with the correct answer. If you're interested in checking out my digital notes on probability, click on the image shown.

Activity - Stick Figure Me Out

After discussing notes, students complete a 'Stick Figure Me Out' activity on single event probability. Stick figure activities are one my favorites. Students answer various questions about probability. Their answers will tell them something about their stick student. On the final slide, they decorate their stick student + the stick student's room using all of their hints. Allow students to get creative + add color for a fun twist. Great news about this activity, it is completely FREE in my TpT store. Click on the image to download.