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Coordinate Plane Activity

When students first study the coordinate plane, they need to practice plotting some points. In addition, depending on the order you are teaching topics in, you may want to have them practice using the Pythagorean theorem to find the distance between points.

Just plotting points can be a mundane task. This type of activity gives students a more enjoyable way to become familiar with the coordinate plane. They enjoy plotting points more if in doing so they make a picture and it feels more like a game or a connect the dots then just a drill. This activity is great for the teacher too – it is much easier to quickly be able to tell if your students are plotting accurately when the points form a particular figure.

To do this activity you must have introduced the basics of the coordinate plane and coordinates as well as the Pythagorean Theorem.

I made up a worksheet here for the students to plot points that will form the rough outline of an umbrella. Afterwards I have them use the Pythagorean Theorem to find the distance between two of the points. I created this worksheet using Math Composer.

In one class I teach, I also have the students find the area or perimeter of some part of the figure and also practice rise and run… If you want to add a little more to the activity, check out this alternative worksheet.

Be creative. I like to create a couple different figures so that not all the students draw the same picture. It’s easy to make connect – the – dots for drawing a boat or house or apple…etc…
What things are you trying to emphasize while introducing the coordinate plane? Try incorporating other ideas into this activity too.

Do you have a favorite activity or lesson you use when teaching the coordinate plane? Share it with other teachers – submit it to our website. Email us your ideas or submissions at Let us know if we can include your name and where you teach with your posting on our site.

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