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Grade: Elementary
Subject: Mathematics

#2000. Tree Diagram Construction

Mathematics, level: Elementary
Posted Sun Nov 12 17:06:40 PST 2000 by Paul Brennan (
Lock Haven University, Taylor, Pa.
Materials Required: see lesson
Activity Time: 25 minutes
Concepts Taught: tree diagram, probability

Standard: 2.7.5 Pennsylvania

Objective: (J) Develop a tree diagram and list the elements.

Grade Level: 5

Materials Needed: A picture of a spinner which is1/4 red and 3/4 blue, a picture of a spinner that has 4 equal colors, chalk, a blackboard.

Activity: Tree Diagram Construction
Have the students sit in the front of the room in a semi-circle. Show them a picture of a spinner that has 4 equal colors. Draw a tree diagram on the board that represents that spinner. The tree diagram should have 4 circles colored in with each color connected to a point without intersecting each other. Open it up for questions.
Have them go back to their desks. Show the picture of the "uneven" spinner (red/blue) and post it in front of the room. Have them make a tree diagram that will show all of the possible outcomes of the spinner. Assess to see if they are having trouble with the more complex tree diagram. If they are review that one and then draw another one on the board that they will have to construct on their papers at their desks. This time draw a farm animal spinner that is split into fifths (pig/pig/cow/horse/pig). Then have them construct their tree diagrams using the new data. By now they should be grasping the idea of a tree diagram. Reflect on what a tree diagram is. What makes up a tree diagram? List the elements of a tree diagram on the board from the answers the students give you. Fill in any missing elements.

Source: Paul Brennan -