Teachers' Domain is moving soon to its new and improved home — PBS LearningMedia!          Learn More

# The Squares Game

Media Type:
Video

Running Time: 2m 14s
Size: 6.1 MB

or

Source: Cyberchase: “R-Fair City”

### Collection Developed by:

Collection Credits

### Collection Funded by:

Funding for the VITAL/Ready to Teach collection was secured through the United States Department of Education under the Ready to Teach Program.

In this video segment from Cyberchase, the CyberSquad is testing various games to decide if they are fair or not. Matt, Jackie and Lucky play a game called The Squares Game. They play it and then analyze the outcome to decide whether the game is fair.

Connections

Everyday Math (2004)
Teacher Lesson Guide, pp. 104-109, 876-882
Student Reference, pp. 47, 58, 109, 119, 121-124
Math Journal, pp. 43-45, 410-413
Math Master, pp. 16, 168-169, 232, 367

Investigations/Scott Foresman (2006)
Between Never and Always (complete)
Data: Kids, Cats, and Ads (complete)

Teaching Tips

Here are some Frame, Focus and Follow-up suggestions for using this video in a math lesson.

What is Frame, Focus and Follow-up?

Frame: Suppose there is a spinner on a circle that is half green and half red. You pick red and your friend picks green. You spin the spinner and it lands on green. You lose. Was the game fair? Why or why not? What were your chances of winning?

Focus: In this video segment, notice how many different squares there are in the game. Also notice how many different types of pictures there are and how many players. Decide if the game is fair and explain why.

Follow Up: What criteria does Matt use to decide if a game is fair or not? Jackie said she had three out of nine chances of winning. What does she mean? How did she figure that out? If you had a bag of 10 green marbles and 2 red ones, what would your chances be of picking out a red one?

Transcript

SQUARES: Squares is the name – Squares is the game. Nine of ‘em, to be exact. Count ‘em, nine. Three starfish, three cows, three airplanes. Three times three... nine! Alright, who wants to play?

MATT: I do!

JACKIE: Matt! Wait! I just checked out the “Tilting Toppling Towers” game.

MATT: Well? Is it crooked?

JACKIE: Very funny. But no, it’s strictly on the level. Fair.

LUCKY: Same with “Topple ‘em and Turn ‘em”. Fair and square.

MATT: Let’s try this one. What do we have to do to win?

SQUARES: Well it’s easy. Pick the winning square – win a feathered hat.

MATT: Okay. I uh...I pick the cow.

JACKIE: I pick the starfish! And this game I plan to win!

LUCKY: Guess that leaves me the airplane.

SQUARES: Now I shuffle the squares...The squares turn over, the symbols no longer visible. They rearrange themselves around the board.

JACKIE: Hey, hey you’re mixing them up!

SQUARES: Right. Turn over a square, young lady and see who the winner is.

JACKIE: Starfish...starfish, looking for a starfish.

JACKIE: Oh man! Airplane! Oh! Lucky won again! You sure you’re on our side?

MATT: Yeah! How do we know this game is fair?

LUCKY: Remember the rap?

JACKIE (RAPPING): To be sure it’s fair - look at the game - everyone’s chance of winning - must be the same.

SQUARES: Alright. Here, let me prove it to you. Don’t want you to think we cheated or anything. Okay, what do you see?

JACKIE: Three starfish...

MATT: Three cows.

JACKIE: And three airplanes.

SQUARES: Right, three of each. Nine different squares but only 3 different choices you can make.

JACKIE: Wait a sec – let me think here. When I picked the starfish – I had 3 out of 9 chances of winning. One, two, three. That doesn’t seem fair.

MATT: Sure it is! There’s only three different choices. Three out of nine is the same as one out of three. Three chances, three players means...

JACKIE: Each of us had the same chance of winning.

MATT: And equal chances means-

JACKIE: Another fair game! Hmm, maybe Motherboard got this one wrong.

Standards

to: