Activity Introduction

cc-secondary13-heroQuick summary: During this lesson students calculate experimental two-step probability using observations from their schoolyard. They will consider why certain events are more or less likely to occur and suggest ways to increase the probability of observing particular living things.

This lesson is designed to be taught outside. It contains all the tools required for students to reap the benefits of being outdoors while learning the outcomes of the Australian Curriculum. By spending time outdoors and connecting to nature, students are more likely to care for and conserve nature as adults.


Learning goals:

  • Students know how to list outcomes of experiments and to list outcomes favourable to an event.
  • Students understand how to use relative frequencies to find an estimate of probabilities of ‘and’, ‘or’ events.
  • Students recognise that probability is between 0 and 1.
  • Students recognise the mental, physical and academic benefits of completing classroom activities outside.

21st century skills:

tree tally skills cc

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 9 Mathematics

  • List all outcomes for two-step chance experiments, both with and without replacement using tree diagrams or arrays. Assign probabilities to outcomes and determine probabilities for events (ACMSP225)
  • Calculate relative frequencies from given or collected data to estimate probabilities of events involving ‘and’ or ‘or’ (ACMSP226)

General capabilities: Numeracy, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Relevant parts of Year 9 Mathematics achievement standards: Students calculate relative frequencies to estimate probabilities, list outcomes for two-step experiments and assign probabilities for those outcomes.

Topic: Outdoor Learning, Biodiversity.

Unit of work: Outdoor Learning Unit.

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activity and facilitate discussion.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a website to the class. One copy of Probability practice sheet and Surveying the schoolyard for each student or pair. High School Image.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: Probability, tree diagram, outcomes, experimental, outdoor learning.

Cool Australia would like to thank the Albert George & Nancy Caroline Youngman Trust – managed by Equity Trustees.

Youngman Trust Logo

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

cc-secondary6-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students are able list outcomes of investigations, to list outcomes favourable to an event and recognise that probability is between 0 and 1. They are able to use relative frequencies to find an estimate of probabilities of ‘and’, ‘or’ events. Finally, students recognise the mental, physical and academic benefits of completing classroom activities outside.

Outdoor learning information:

Outdoor Learning Series (


To help guide teachers through suggested activities in this lesson, we have developed a series of icons designed to show what types of activities are involved and where these activities may take place (see Learning Activity Key below).

learning activity icons key updated-v3

This lesson is designed to support students and teachers undertaking the Outdoor Learning Un

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What is the probability of seeing an emu at school?

See Think Wonder

Have a look at the image below and think about where you might find a variety of living things in this school yard. Work independently to describe what you see, what it makes you think about and what it makes you wonder. Add your ideas to the table below.

high school

What do I SEE?

What does it make me THINK about?

What does it make me WONDER about?


Work independently to answer the questions below:

How many of the living things that you counted had you noticed for the first time?

Are there any living things that you personally enjoy or have a connection to? (E.g. birds, trees, etc.)

What living things not observed do you think would improve your enjoyment of your schoolyard?

How do you think you could encourage more of these living things into your schoolyard?

Do you see any risks involved with encouraging living things into a school environment?

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