From Here to There: Distance on the Coordinate Plane

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SWBAT determine distance between two given points on the coordinate plane that have the same y values or the same x values.

Big Idea

From Point A to Point B: Understanding how to find the distance between two points on the coordinate plane.

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 the opening exercise today, we will review polygons on the coordinate plane as well as map locations on the coordinate plane.

Instruction & Teacher Modeling

10 minutes

In this lesson’s instructional piece, I will be teaching my students how to find the distance between two points on a coordinate plane.


In this lesson, I will be sure to cover the following items:

  • Points located in the same quadrant will need to be subtracted.
  • For points that are located in different quadrants it is necessary to combine their absolute values.
  • We will only be finding the distance between points that have the same x coordinate or the same y coordinate.

Try It Out

5 minutes

To guide my students through what it will take to solve problems involving distance on the coordinate plane, I will ask them to find the distance between locations that will be pre-taped to the giant coordinate plane on the floor. I will place at least four locations on the giant coordinate plane so that several students will have the opportunity to find the distance between the different locations presented. To give even more students an opportunity to practice this skill, I will also change the value of each grid line to force students to see that one square can be equal to more than 1 or less than 1. I will also move the locations.

Independent Exploration

20 minutes

To practice this skill independently, I will give my students two worksheets that, together, will contain ten problems to solve, that will ask students to find the distance between two points on the coordinate plane among other questions pertaining to the coordinate plane.

These worksheets come from a resource that I obtained from the Steck Vaughn publishing company. 

Closing Summary

15 minutes

To close out today’s lesson, I will have the students exchange papers and we will grade the worksheet involving finding distance between the two points on the coordinate plane.


TOTD: To ensure that my students understand how this lesson applies to the real world, I will ask my students to write down one way that the skill of being able to find the distance between two points on a coordinate plane can be helpful in real life.