 Cartesian Coordinate Plane Lesson
Cartesian Coordinate Lesson Plan

Abstract

This lesson combines using Shodor's computer applets with a fun hands-on activity. This lesson not only teaches basic coordinate plane manipulation, but also transforms any classroom or outside area into a three dimensional coordinate plane.

Standards (NCTM 3-5)

Algebra

Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems
• explore numbers less than 0 through extending the number line and through familiar applications
Geometry

Specify locations and describe spatial relationships using coordinate geometry and other representational systems

• describe location and movement using common language and geometric vocabulary
• make and use coordinate systems to specify locations and describe paths
• find the distance between points along horizontal and vertical lines of a coordinate system.
Student Prerequisites

Technological:

Students must be able to:
• perform basic mouse manipulations such as point, click and drag
• use a browser such as Netscape for experimenting with the activities
Teacher Preparation

Have a classroom or an outside area sectioned off into a coordinate plane

Students will need:
• Graph paper and pencil

Lesson Outline

1. Focus and Review
2. Review any pertinent vocabulary and express to the students that today they will be learning about the Cartesian Coordinate Plane.

3. Objectives
4. Students will be able to identify points on 2 and 3 dimensional Carteasian Coordinate Planes.

5. Teacher Input
1. Guided Practice
• Have students work in pairs to complete 5 problems from the Simple Coordinate Game applet.
• Have students draw the problems given to them by the applet and record their answers beside their drawings to ensure each group finishes all 5 of the problems .
• Walk around the class, monitor student progress, and answer any student's questions.
Teacher Input

Guided Practice

• Have students, working in pairs, play the Simple Maze Game.
• Walk around the class, monitor student progress, and answer any student's questions.

Teacher Input

• Explain how to locate objects in all quadrants of the coordinate plane. If your students have never been introduced to negative numbers, you may need to lead a discussion about negative numbers.

Guided Practice

• Have students work in pairs to complete 5 problems from the General Coordinate Game applet.
• Have students draw the problems given to them by the applet and record their answers beside their drawings to ensure each group finishes all 5 of the problems completing the 5 problems .
• Walk around the class, monitor student progress, and answer any student's questions.

Teacher Input

Guided Practice

• Have students, working in pairs, play the Maze Game.
• Walk around the class, monitor student progress, and answer any student's questions.

Teacher Input

• After the students show an understanding of the x-axis and y-axis introduce them to the z-axis.
• Have the classroom marked off in a grid with different letters posted throughout the room.
• Explain to the students that their list of coordinates will spell a mathematician's name.
• Tell students once they have figured out who their mathematician is they are to investigate their mathematician's importance using books you supply or by doing an Internet search.
1. Independent Practice
• Have the students demonstrate their knowledge of the coordinate plane by locating assigned points. These points should be scattered throughout the classroom
• Have the students complete their research and present their findings about their assigned mathematician to the class.
1. Closure
• Review the x-, y-, and z-axis.
• Review the concept of negative numbers if this was the first time students have been introduced to them. 