Rock, Paper, Scissors Activity
Probability is an important branch of mathematics because of the practical
implications in the sciences – physical, medical, biological, and social. It is
essential in understanding weather reports, medical findings, political
doings, even state lotteries.
This is a good activity to use to introduce the unit on probability.
Objectives and Resources:
Game: Divide students into groups of two, one member of the group being
player A and the other being player B. Play paper, rock, and scissors 18
times. Record on grid the number of times player A wins, player B wins,
and the number of times there is a tie. Determine the range, mean, median,
and mode of each set of data. Compare the results. Do a tree diagram to
determine possible outcomes then answer the following questions based on
1. How many outcomes does the game have? (9)
2. How many wins for player A? (3) Player B? (3) What is the
probability for player A (3/9 or 1/3) Player B? (3/9 or 1/3) Be sure
you explain that probability means favorable outcomes/possible
outcomes. (What you want to happen/what could happen)
3. Is the game fair? Do both players have an equal probability of
winning in any round? (yes)
4. Compare mathematical model with what happened when students
played the game.
5. Display the results on a line graph.
Rock, Scissors, Paper
Game Player A Player B Tie
Number of times player A won. ____________
Number of times player B won. ____________
Number of times tied. ____________________