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Coordinate Plane Graphing

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Developed By

  Dawn Berendt

Lesson Title

  Coordinate Plane Graphing

Length of Lesson

  4-5 1 hour lessons

Lesson Unit








Michigan Content Expectations



  ordered pairs, integers, quadrants, coordinate plane



Graph paper with 4 quadrants

TI-73 calculator (or other graphing calculator)




This lesson introduces the concept of graphing in the 4 quadrants.  It introduces positive and negative numbers on a number line and applies that to a coordinate plane.  The culminating activity is to create their own picutre on a coordinate plane and graph it on a graphing calculator.


Big Idea(s)


Coordinate Plane



Ordered Pairs/Coordinates



Essential Questions


What is a coordinate plane?

What happens to a point on a graph when the x and y values are changed?

What combinations of numbers cause a point to lie in each quadrant?


Learning Objectives


Plot points on a coordinate plane.

Decide which quadrant an ordered pair will be plotted in.

Use a graphing calculator to create an original design using coordinates.


Summative Assessment


Create an original design based on the story "The Fly on the Ceiling" by Dr. Julie Glass.on a graphing calculator.

Read the story  "The Fly on the Ceiling" by Dr. Julie Glass.

Have the students create a simple drawing from the story (ex: fly, ink well, boot, candle, etc) on a piece of graph paper.  Tell them to be sure to draw their lines so that they pass through as many coordiates as possible.  Have them choose a starting point and list the coordinates (following the drawing.  They can stop at a point and then pick it up again and start a 2nd part in a different location.  Have them create the same picture on the TI-73 graphing calculator.


Resource(s) available for this section

Lesson Opening


Students will watch a 30 minute video on Discovery Streaming and practice plotting ordered pairs on a coordinate plane. 

Reading and Plotting Ordered Pairs-A segment of TEAMS:  Turn on to Algebra:  Graphing Functions






Lesson Opening Co-teaching Plan


Both teachers will help with the activity, pose questions and offer suggestions.




Provide the students with a piece of graph paper.  Have them fold it into 4 equal squares.   Have them draw a line along the vertical fold and along the horizontal fold.  Have them label the point that the 2 line meet/intersect zero.  Explain that this is called the origin.  Have them label the numbers along the horizontal line to the right of the zero starting at 1 and continuing until the end.  Have them label the vertical line above the zero starting at 1 and continuing until the end.   Have them label the numbers along the horizontal line to the left of the zero starting at -1 and continuing until the end. Have them label the vertical line below the zero starting at -1 and continuing until the end. 


Exploration Co-teaching Plan


One teacher introduces the activity and offers a brief explanation of the directions.  Both teachers will monitor and redirect the students if necessary.


Check for Understanding


Place a point on the graph.  Ask the students what they would call that point?  How can we describe it?  How do I know exactly where it is located?  Have the students discuss with a partner first and then share with class. (Think-Pair-Share)

Repeat multiple times so that each time the point is located in a different quadrant.


Check for Understanding Co-teaching Plan


Both teachers help with the assessment.




Discuss the 4 quadrants on the coordinate plane and how each ordered pair is unique to that quadrant.

Discuss how to plot ordered pairs on a coordinate plane and explain that the x value always comes first and the y value always come second. 

Show how changing the value of the x or y in an ordered pair will change the location of the point.


Explanation Co-teaching Plan


Both teachers will give explanations and monitor students understanding.


Check for Understanding (2)


Use the clickers to check for understanding.  Create a coordinate plane graph that has labeled points and a slide show that asks questions like:

What quadrant is point A in?

What are the coordinates for point C?

What will happen to Point F is the X coordinate becomes negative?



Check for Understanding Co-teaching Plan (2)


One teacher will read the questions aloud, the other teacher will manipulate the slideshow.


Extended Practice


Have the students create easy shapes (rectagles, squares, triangles, parallelograms, etc) on the TI-73 graphing calculator.  (see direction sheet in resources)

Complete 1-2 together as a group and then challenge them to try it on their own.

Homework:  Practice worksheet (in resources)


Resource(s) available for this section



Students will share their drawings by showing them to the class with the overhead projector calculator display.


Closing Co-teach Plan


Both teachers will monitor/assess student understanding.