Supplies: 3x5 cards labeled with various letters of the alphabet (no letters repeat).
2. Encourage students to develop a strategy for finding their answers.
3. Discuss the findings with the class.
4. When all possible four-letter combinations have been found, give each pair or group an additional card and ask them to find all possible five-letter combinations.
5. Students could also be asked to make a tree diagram showing their findings.
This activity leads to discussions of tree diagrams, the counting principle, and permutations.
As a follow-up activity, give each group of students a set of 4 cards where one of the letters repeats.
set of cards to each pair or group. As before, the task is to find all four-letter arrangements of the
cards. The arrangements do not have to spell actual words. Ask
students to record each "word". Ask students to make
observations about their answers.