Activity 1: Non-programming warm-ups

There are a number of non-programming activities to engage students before writing a program to play the game, including:

  • Explain the problem and consider using a video on the Monty Hall Problem. For example, watch up to 1:35.
  • Let students create props to play the game (shoeboxes can serve as doors and the car can be a candy bar).
  • Ask students to discuss which strategy is better: to switch or not to switch? Have them explain their reasoning and come up with a hypothesis to be tested using the program.
  • The Shodor site at has a number of good resources on the Monty Hall problem.
  • The Monty Hall game can be generalized to an arbitrary number of doors. For 10 doors, we have 9 goats and one car. The contestant chooses one door and Monty opens 8 doors. Then Monty asks whether the contestant wants to switch. The more doors there are, the better the chance is of winning when the player switches doors. The Shodor site lets one play the game multiple times and shows this experimental behavior clearly.