This has been one of my most popular lessons. I adapted it from a much less colorful variant (just the dice, no sinister howling).
Supplies: lots of dice. Spooky music optional.
1. Students get into small groups, each group with optimally 15-20 dice. Each die represents a villager. Every night the wolves come, and some of the villagers don’t make it out alive.
On Day 0 all the villagers are alive. Students should simulate each day by throwing all the dice. The dice that roll up a 6 get sent to the graveyard.
2. After all the villagers are dead and the results recorded, the experiment should be repeated two more times and graphed.
3. Large village apocalypse: The entire class gets in a circle with all the dice. The total number of villagers is recorded, and then all the dice are thrown simultaneously in the center of the circle. All the sixes are gathered and put in the graveyard [I had one student calling himself the “Grim Reaper”] and the rolling continues until there are no survivors. The data this time can be put on the class white/chalkboard.
The data gathering culminates in students finding a graph first, modeling the situation experimentally, and then deciding on an exact model based off of the probability.
[SHORTER CLASS VARIANT] Each student is themselves a villager and has only one single die. They start standing up and roll after each day, sitting down if the wolves get them.