The activity itself is pretty straightforward – students draw a picture (typically some kind of geometric construction) on the Cartesian Plane. They note the coordinates of the corners of the shape, and record them on the chart. Then, after submitting the charts to the teacher to be assessed, they can be handed back out for students to share. They can then try to plot the points of each other’s pictures to demonstrate their ability in that regard.
I typically use this activity after discussing the basics of the Cartesian Plane: the axes and quadrants; the coordinate system; and after students have some time to practice identifying points and plotting points.
Engagement and full participation with this activity has proven consistently high in my own experience; students like to get creative with the pictures they create. In the student examples I have provided, the pictures are symmetrical along the y-axis, but symmetry is not necessary. In fact, asymmetrical shapes produce more of a challenge as there is no clear pattern to the dots as students plot them.
In my Behaviour and Learning Assistance Program classroom, this activity typically takes two 50-minute classes. The first class we review the basics of the Cartesian plane and students draw their pictures and record their points. In the second class, I place the students’ collections of coordinates around the room as centers and students move about the classroom solving each other’s puzzles.