Day 67: Pirates of the Caribbean Visit an AP Stats Classroom

Today, as we are finishing up our study of Combining Random Variables, I decided to use an activity I found on Chuck Bakers website about Pirate Liar Dice.  We first watched a clip from the Pirates of the Caribbean where the pirates are playing Pirate’s Dice, a game in which each player has 5 dice and a cup.  Check out the clip:

Then my students talked about what happened during the game (some said they didn’t have a clue) but most were able to recall the progression of the bids: 4 fours, 4 fives, 5 fives, 8 fives, 12 fives.  They still weren’t sure what was happening, so we then watch this “Liar’s Dice in 60 Second” to clarify the rules:

Finally, they played.  I don’t have enough dice for each student to get 5, so we used our Nspires and the randint( command to simulate rolling 5 dice.  Then the bidding became.  They had fun for sure and there were some subtle probability ideas percolating.


Our debrief after the game included the following questions:

  1. What were some things you thought of as you made bids?
  2. How did you know how many dice were left in play?
  3. How did you keep track of what dice the other players may have had?
  4. How improbable did a bid have to be for you to challenge it?
  5. When was it easier to make a safe bid?
  6. When was it harder to make a safe bid?

One of our vice-principals (who taught AP Stats in a former life) happened to be walking by so he popped in and joined in the discussions.  Fun times for all, and hopefully a memorable experience for my students.


Posted on December 16, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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