Graphing Linear Functions (Day 1 of 2)

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SWBAT graph linear functions on a coordinate plane using slope intercept form.

Big Idea

Students will apply their knowledge of linear growth to graph a line on a coordinate plane.


10 minutes

Students will complete a Do Now. While students are working, I will circulate around the room passing back the graded exit cards from our last class. After about 4 minutes, I will ask students to switch their Do-Now with a partner, and we will review each other's responses together as a whole class. Some of my students will benefit from a slow walkthrough of plotting coordinates points on plane. To help refresh students, for each point I will start at the origin and have students say aloud for each point (right/left, up/down).

Next a student volunteer will read today's lesson objective,  "SWBAT graph linear functions on a coordinate plane using slope intercept form."

Guided Notes + Practice

30 minutes

Students will follow along during today's lesson using these Guided Notes.

Students will already be familiar with slope intercept form from the our previous practice with writing linear equations. I begin by telling students that we can apply our knowledge of the components of slope intercept form to translate each equation to points on a line that will extend endlessly in either direction:

  • We know that "b" represents our starting point in a situation that shows linear growth. "B" is also the y-intercept, which will be the first point we plot on the plane to model the line. 
    • B is where you BEGIN.
  • We also know that "m" represents the rate of change, will is also our slope. M shows the rate that the line extends infinitely in both directions on the coordinate plane.
    • M is how you MOVE.


First: Begin at the y intercept (0, b)

Next: Use the slope to "move" rise/right

Last: Once you have run our of room on the coordinate plane, move backwards to plot additional points on the line. Draw a line through the points.

We will graph the example problems together as a class. The most common misconception that students make when graphing the line is incorrectly interpreting a negative slope as movement to the left, which makes the line be drawn in the wrong direction on the coordinate plane. To combat this, I will stress to students that we will always analyze our slope as rise/right. Additionally, I will tell students that if a slope is negative, this applies to the "rise" portion of the slope, but the line will still always move to the right.

After every 2-3 problems, I will ask students to switch their paper with their neighbor to make sure they are both graphing each linear function correctly.

Students will continue to practice graphing linear functions using this Handout.

Group Activity: Stations

30 minutes

Students will work in pairs to complete the Linear Function Stations. The Stations should be taped to the wall, and students will use the last two pages of the document to record their answers. While students are working, I will circulate around the room to assist students as they work.

We will review the responses to the Station activity as a whole group after 25 minutes.


10 minutes

I will ask students to explain the significance of slope intercept form, and how it can be adapted to write and graph linear growth. Students will then complete an Exit Card.