The Coordinate Plane: A Spiral Studies Mini-Unit

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Math Giraffe
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20 printables plus lesson plans, answer keys, directions, information, etc.
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Plotting Points on the Coordinate Plane, Writing Ordered Pairs, Reflecting Across an Axis, & more...

In this 3-day mini-unit students will be introduced to the coordinate plane. They will learn how to plot points using ordered pairs, identify quadrants & axes, reflect points, find horizontal and vertical lengths, and write x- and y- coordinates. Then, students will design their own constellation and plot it on a coordinate plane. The lessons include a team game, constellation card activity, rubrics and worksheets for creating a constellation and revealing a partner's constellation by graphing ordered pairs, and additional practice.

This mini-unit has a fun constellation theme!

Here's what's included:
- 2 pages of "doodle notes introducing the coordinate plane, quadrants, ordered pairs, and simple reflections
- An activity in which students plot points to reveal a constellation (constellations that match will form a team)
- Practice worksheets
- A Coordinate Plane Game where students answer questions about constellations superimposed on a "Night Sky" coordinate plane
- A crossword puzzle reviewing vocabulary for the coordinate plane
- An assessment project in which students create their own constellations, record ordered pairs, and exchange to plot points and "reveal" a partner's constellation (with rubric)
- Extension activity (reflecting the image)
- Detailed lesson plans
- All answer keys
- Additional resources for incorporating this unit into an optional integrated study across the curriculum (see details below)

Please take a look at the preview file for more detail.

Check this out! This resource includes TWO versions of the Coordinate Plane Unit. That’s right! There is one version of the unit that is turn-key and ready to be taught as a stand-alone unit in your math classroom….and there is another version that can be combined with units from other subject areas to create an INTEGRATED STUDY of the stars! After you download this resource, just choose the version of the unit that will work best in your classroom (integrated or independent).

About the Integrated Version of the Unit
The teacher-authors from Brain Waves Instruction , Kate’s Classroom Café, History Gal, and Math Giraffe have teamed up to create engaging, rigorous, and interactive integrated units that can be easily implemented in middle school classrooms. We call them SPIRAL STUDIES.

We love the idea of helping students learn critical ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies skills and content in an integrated format. That’s why we’ve worked together to create an integrated Study of the Stars! We’ve each created stand-alone units about stars that can be taught completely in isolation and integrated versions of the same units that can be taught in conjunction with other subject areas. Special features of the integrated units include an interactive Learning Folder that students create and add to in each class and a bonus Part 4 of instruction where students showcase their integrated learning while creating “The Night Sky News” newspaper. Learn more HERE.

Integrated Version of the Unit – Can be taught in conjunction with units from other subject areas
• Integrated Unit Topic: The Stars
• Overview: Students will learn about stars and then consider: What storytellers (ELA), scientists (Science), mathematicians (Math), and ancient civilizations (SS) see in the night sky.
• In ELA students read Greek myths and write a constellation myth. In Science students participate in interactive stations and learn about stars and the night sky. In Math students use constellations to learn about the coordinate plane. In Social Studies students learn about ancient civilizations and what the night sky looked like in ancient times.
• Special Features:
o Students create interactive Learning Folders that they develop and grow in each course.
o Culminating Activity (optional) – Students showcase their learning across all the subject areas while creating “The Night Sky News” newspaper. Students complete elements in each subject area. In ELA, they write a lead story about the discovery of a new constellation. The end result is a creative and integrated newspaper!

Bonus Resources in the Integrated Unit
• Explanation of the integrated resources (for teachers)
• Scope and Sequence of the unit across subject areas
• Learning Folder Resources (title and learning pocket)
• Day 4 – Bonus Material -- "Night Sky News"

Find the Integrated Units from the other subject areas here:
• ELA – What Do Storytellers See in the Night Sky? by Brain Waves Instruction
• Science – What Do Scientists See in the Night Sky? by Kate’s Classroom Café
• Social Studies – What Did Ancient Civilizations See in the Night Sky? by History Gal

Total Pages
20 printables plus lesson plans, answer keys, directions, information, etc.
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Draw polygons in the coordinate plane given coordinates for the vertices; use coordinates to find the length of a side joining points with the same first coordinate or the same second coordinate. Apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.
Recognize opposite signs of numbers as indicating locations on opposite sides of 0 on the number line; recognize that the opposite of the opposite of a number is the number itself, e.g., -(-3) = 3, and that 0 is its own opposite.
Understand signs of numbers in ordered pairs as indicating locations in quadrants of the coordinate plane; recognize that when two ordered pairs differ only by signs, the locations of the points are related by reflections across one or both axes.
Solve real-world and mathematical problems by graphing points in all four quadrants of the coordinate plane. Include use of coordinates and absolute value to find distances between points with the same first coordinate or the same second coordinate.


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