We are currently working on plotting points on a coordinate plane in a math class I teach to middle school aged homeschoolers at WEB. I waded into this subject expecting many to have a been-there-done-that attitude, but surprisingly, most all needed a refresher on this. To make it more fun, I created a coordinate graph mystery picture and took them outside to try to draw it in the parking lot. They did fairly well. The resulting picture wasn’t exactly what I had on my paper, but toward the end of class they were beginning to catch on. You can see the WEB turned out clearly but the flowers underneath were a little weak.
This coming week, I issued a challenge for the class. Everyone is to create their own mystery picture and I will judge the best three to be drawn in the parking lot, weather permitting. These kids really love a competition. Here are the parameters:
1. Each coordinate plane should go from -10 to 10 on both the x-axis and y-axis. This will result in a square 20 X 20.
2. Draw out a picture using at least 20 coordinate pairs with straight lines connecting them. My picture had about 100, so 20 should be easy to do.
3. Each point on the picture is labeled by its x coordinate first and then the y grouped in parenthesis and separated by a comma: (x,y)
4. Create a column of coordinate pairs for all the points on a continuous line. When you reach the end of the line and need to take your pencil up, Write STOP.
5. Here is an example of one so you can see how it was done: Fox’s Face on Math Crush
6. I will choose three for us to do outside, weather permitting.
7. In order for your picture to be chosen, the coordinates need to be correct!.
8. We will divide into teams to see which team can do the best job at reproducing the picture they are given.
This is something anyone can do with their child this spring. There are many mystery pictures available online to pick from or you can create your own like I did. Have fun! Let me know how it goes!