Teacher guide reSolve: Probability - Rock Paper Scissors

TLF ID M025307

In this sequence of two lessons, students determine their chances of winning the game 'rock paper scissors', then test their chances by playing against another player and in a simulated game. Students look at the psychological aspect of the game and recognise that there is a strategy to increase your chance of winning. They then extend this to more complex versions of the game and calculate the probabilities of winning in the new context. Each lesson is outlined in detail including curriculum links, vocabulary, materials needed, card templates, student recording sheets, discussion points and explanatory slide shows. This sequence is part of the reSolve: Maths by Inquiry program.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This resource is very valuable for the year 6 mathematics content description about describing probabilities using fractions, decimals and percentages. The sequence offers multiple opportunities for students to calculate the probability of winning rock paper scissor games, expressed in both fractions and percentages.
  • This resource is also extremely valuable for the year 6 mathematics content descriptions about conducting chance experiments with both small and large numbers of trials using appropriate digital technologies and comparing their observed frequencies with expected frequencies. During the sequence, students conduct their own trial runs of twenty games, record their results and compare them to their calculated probabilities, then investigating the reasons for these differences.
  • This resource also offers opportunities to link to the Numeracy General capability, as it engages students in describing chance events such as game outcomes and compare observed outcomes with predictions using numerical representations.
  • This resource is also of pedagogical value as it supports teachers in building an inquiry-focused learning environment with authentic application of mathematical skills and understandings. The unit aims to develop content knowledge as well as assisting students to understand the process of inquiry.
Year level


Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: Australian Government Department of Education and Training
  • Organization: Australian Government Department of Education and Training
  • Publisher
  • Name: Australian Academy of Science
  • Organization: Australian Academy of Science
  • Description: Publisher
  • URL: https://www.science.org.au/
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL: www.esa.edu.au
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Learning Resource Type
  • Online
  • © Australian Government Department of Education and Training 2019. Unless otherwise indicated, this material may be used in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence.