What Kind of Plane is This?

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SWBAT demonstrate their understanding of the different parts of the coordinate plane by showing their ability to correctly utilize and label the coordinate plane.

Big Idea

That doesn't look like a plane to me! Understanding the coordinate plane and all its parts.

Curriculum Reinforcer

10 minutes

Students will complete 3 problems to review units 1 through 6. The curriculum reinforcer, is a daily practice piece that is incorporated into almost every lesson to help my students to retain skills and conceptual understanding from earlier lessons. My strategy is to use Spiraled Review to help my students retain what they learned during the earlier part of the year. This will help me to keep mathematical concepts fresh in the students mind so that the knowledge of these concepts become a part of students' long term memories.


10 minutes

In today’s opening of this lesson, I will introduce the coordinate plane. To do so, I will demonstrate to my students how two number lines can intersect at point 0 at a perpendicular angle to create a coordinate plane. 

During this time, I will ensure that my students understand the vocabulary terms necessary to master and conceptualize the purpose of a coordinate plane.

Those vocabulary terms are as follows:

  • Coordinate
  • Plane
  • Coordinate Plane
  • Perpendicular
  • Intersect
  • Origin
  • X-Axis
  • Y-Axis
  • Quadrant
  • Positive Number
  • Negative Number


Instruction & Teacher Modeling

10 minutes

In today’s instructional piece, I will be addressing the following element as it pertains to the coordinate plane.

 1. Parts of the Coordinate plane

  • The four quadrants
  • The origin
  • The positive and negative sides of the number lines
  • The axes

 2. Finding points on the axes

Naming the quadrants, where given points are located.


In this lesson, the students will learn the fundamentals of recognizing the coordinate plane and its different parts as well as the quadrant specific coordinates fall. I will ensure that my students understand the following:

  • Coordinates having a positive x value as well as a positive y value will fall into Quadrant I
  • Coordinates having a positive x value and a negative y value will fall into Quadrant IV
  • Coordinates having a negative x value and a positive y value will fall into Quadrant II
  • Coordinates having a negative x value and a negative y value will fall into Quadrant III


The manner in which I will demonstrate these items to students will be through the use of a giant coordinate plane that I will put on my floor using painters tape.

In today’s instruction, I will introduce graphing coordinates on the coordinate plane. I will do this by demonstrating how the coordinate plane can be used to find a point such as, on a map. However, before making the real world application to the map, I will first teach my students the method of plotting and finding points on the coordinate plane.

All of this will be done using a giant coordinate plane that I will create on my floor in the classroom using the tiles as gridlines.

Using the giant coordinate plane on the classroom floor, I will demonstrate to my students how to do the following:

  • Graph coordinates in all quadrants
  • Use a coordinate plane to find a location on a map
  • Determine the coordinates of a given point on a coordinate plane.


Try It Out

5 minutes

For the guided practice, I will give my students a blank coordinate plane. The students will have to label all of the parts of the coordinate plane as follows:

  • The positive sides to the number lines in green.
  • The negative sides to the number lines in red.
  • The quadrants in blue.
  • The origin in black
  • The x-axis in purple & the y-axis in orange


Then, I will provide my students with another coordinate plane upon which they will number the axes with positive and negative rational numbers, including fractional numbers. The fractions that they will label will be halves and fourths.

Independent Exploration

20 minutes

In the independent practice portion of today’s lesson, the students will have to fill in the rational numbers on both the x-axis and y-axis. This exercise will require the students to fill in halves, fourths, and eighths.

During this assignment, I will ask my students to find and place a dot on specific points on the x-axis and on the y-axis.

I will also provide my students with a list of coordinates. The students will have to determine in which quadrant each of the coordinates belongs.

Today, my students will also complete an activity that is a coordinate plane dot-to-dot as a fun and interesting way to practice plotting points correctly. They will complete this sheet independently.

I will present this activity as a challenge. The top three dot-to-dot completed correctly will receive a prize form the supply closet. I will ask three colleagues to judge the accuracy and artistic ability of each assignment. The top three chosen by them will receive the prize.


Closing Summary

15 minutes

My students will close out this lesson by presenting their work to the class. To do this, I will choose three students to present three different parts of the independent practice. They will present their work underneath the document camera. During their presentations, the students will have to articulate their understanding of the coordinate plane. As a class, we will participate in a discussion that I will facilitate using what the students say during their presentations. I will used strategic questioning and prompting to guide the discussion.

TOTD: What type of coordinates end up in quadrant 1 of the coordinate plane? Quadrant II? Quadrant III? Quadrant IV?