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McREL Standards Activity

Connect the Ordered Pairs

Purpose:As a result of this activity, students will be able to plot ordered pairs on a coordinate grid.
Related Standard & Benchmarks:
 Standard 8.Understands and applies basic and advanced properties of functions and algebra
   Level II [Grade 3-5]
   Benchmark 6. Knows basic characteristics and features of the rectangular coordinate system (e.g., the horizontal axis is the X axis and the vertical axis is the Y axis)
Student Product:coordinate grid with ordered pairs plotted to make a picture
Material & Resources:straight edge, graph paper
Teacher's Note:This web site provides graph paper that can be downloaded, printed, and copied.  The 4C graph paper works best for this activity.
Draw a rectangular coordinate grid either on an overhead or the board. Make sure you label the x-axis and y-axis. Show the students how to plot an ordered pair (x,y).  Make it clear that the first number represents the location on the x-axis and the second number represents the location on the y-axis.  Where the two meet in the middle of the quadrant is where the point is plotted (drawn).  If this is the first time your students have plotted ordered pairs it may be best to only use the first quadrant and keep the numbers positive. If your students are ready for negative numbers you could use all four quadrants.  After the students practice plotting a few ordered pairs and identifying the ordered pair from a few points on the grid, have them begin the activity.

Ask students to plot the following ordered pairs. Have them connect the points in the order they are listed to make the shape of a house.
(20, 0)
(13, 0)
(13, 8)
(9, 8)
(9, 0)
(2, 0)
(2, 14)
(0, 14)
(11, 22)
(22, 14)
(20, 14)
(20, 0)

Have students get a new sheet of graph paper and design their own connect-the-points picture or shape. You may want to limit the number of points that the pictures can have in order to finish in the allotted time. When they are finished, they should list the ordered pairs for the design in the order that it needs to be drawn on a different sheet of paper and give it to someone who has not yet seen the design. Each student should plot the ordered pairs and draw the picture or shape of his/her partner’s design. Have students share their designs with each other and vote as a class on the best design, the most complicated design, the most realistic design, or whatever seems appropriate.