3 Coordinate Plane Activities and Coordinate Plane Word Problems, Grades 5–6
By: Jeff Todd
Coordinate plane activities are fun for students. I find that they enjoy the visual aspect of identifying coordinates and creating shapes using those coordinates. In this post I will be sharing three coordinate plane activities that focus on coordinate plane word problems from the Progress in Mathematics series for Grades 5 and 6.
PRINTABLE COORDINATE PLANE ACTIVITIES
ACTIVITY #1: USE A COORDINATE PLANE TO SOLVE REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS
Grade 5 is when students first start using the coordinate plane with integer values. It is expected that students will be able to create a pair of axes, to plot points, and to identify points in all four quadrants. However, in Grade 5, students are only expected to solve coordinate plane word problems in the first quadrant.
The first coordinate plane activity can follow Lesson 14–13 of Progress in Mathematics Grade 5. It helps students meet Grade 5 standards by giving them a worked-out example and a similar problem to solve. The download contains several coordinate plane word problems where students meet standards by interpreting the meaning of the coordinates in the context of the situation that is presented.
ACTIVITY #2: USE COORDINATES TO FIND HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL DISTANCES
In Grade 6, the focus on problem solving and coordinate plane activities expands to include the knowledge of plane figures that students developed in earlier grades. Students graph coordinates in all four quadrants, connecting them to make figures, determine the side lengths of horizontal and vertical segments, and draw conclusions about the figures. In the context of these figures, students tap higher-order thinking processes as they solve geometric coordinate plane word problems.
The second coordinate plane activity also comes from the online resources for Progress in Mathematics Grade 6. It can be used to help students meet standards after Lesson 14–5. The focus of the activities is to find the length of a line segment when either the x- or y-coordinates are the same (in other words, a horizontal or vertical line).
This is an engaging activity that lets students connect distances on the grid to subtraction of integers and to absolute value, building the connections between the three ideas. One feature of the worksheet that I like is that it suggests students check their answers by counting the distance on the grid. The coordinate plane word problems on this download include a distance minimization problem that your students will really enjoy!
ACTIVITY #3: PLOTTING THE VERTICES OF POLYGONS ON A COORDINATE PLANE
The third coordinate plane activity can also follow Lesson 14–5 of Progress in Mathematics Grade 6. This download helps students meet standards by asking them to consider the characteristics of the figures formed by connecting the vertices plotted. Students apply the skill they learned from the second download in order to determine whether two sides of a shape are congruent, as they find the most specific name for each figure.
Many of the coordinate plane word problems for this download focus on the shapes formed by different sections of a marching band on the field. The last of the word problems is open-ended with five possible answers, which provides more advanced students with a good challenge to complete while their classmates are still working on the earlier problems!
If you are looking for some well-developed coordinate plane activities to help your students meet standards, make sure you download these activities along with their answer keys! Whether you are a regular user of the Progress in Mathematics series or not, you will find that these coordinate plane activities and coordinate plane word problems are a welcome addition to your repertoire.
Even if you are a regular user of Progress in Mathematics, I want to make sure you know that these supplemental activities are available online!