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Teacher guide Probability and pancakes

TLF ID M017770

This is an integrated unit of work around the Kenyan village tale, 'Mama Panya's Pancakes'. Intended for years 3 and 4 and written from a global education perspective, the resource consists of five single- or multi-lesson activities, titled: Possibly, possibly not; Mama Panya's Pancakes; Mapping the journey; How much and how many?; Pancake, chapati and bao bing. Student activities include considering probability, locating Kenya, calculating amounts, cost, and the results of sharing, predicting, and matching pancake recipes to their countries of origin. Some extension activities are also included. The unit provides links to other resources about cultural diversity, food security and poverty reduction.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This is a high-quality integrated unit of work for students in years 3 and 4, suitable for either straight grade level classes or multi-age groupings. It integrates aspects of the English, mathematics and geography curriculums and helps students develop four of the general capabilities.
  • 'Mama Panya's Pancakes' provides an engaging context for numerous content descriptions in all three strands of the mathematics curriculum. The first activity and aspects of the second are relevant to the year 4 content description about describing possible everyday events and ordering their chances of occurring. The fourth activity supports content descriptions that refer to modelling unit fractions, representing money values in multiple ways, measuring objects using familiar metric units, and creating simple grid maps in year 3; and solving problems involving purchases, and using simple scales, legends and directions to interpret information contained in basic maps in year 4.
  • In the English curriculum, the unit supports those content descriptions in the Literature and Literacy strands about discussing texts in which characters, events and settings are portrayed in different ways in year 3, and using comprehension strategies to build literal and inferred meaning, and analysing and evaluating texts in year 4. In the geography curriculum the resource connects with content descriptions that refer to representing the location of places and their features in year 3 and to the location of the major countries of Africa in relation to Australia in year 4.
  • The resource has considerable value for the Literacy, Numeracy, Critical and creative thinking, and Intercultural understanding general capabilities. It connects strongly with learning continuums about comprehending texts (Literacy); using money, applying proportional reasoning, interpreting maps and diagrams, interpreting chance events, estimating and measuring with metric units (Numeracy); organising and processing information (Critical and creative thinking); and exploring and comparing cultural knowledge, beliefs and practices (Intercultural understanding).
Year level

3; 4

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Organization: Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
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  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
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  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: Commonwealth of Australia
  • Organization: Commonwealth of Australia
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  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
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  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
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Learning Resource Type
  • Online
  • © Commonwealth of Australia 2014. Unless otherwise indicated, this material is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike 3.0 Australia (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 AU) licence