Basic Polar Graphing: An engaging, fun lesson for Middle Schoolers (They will even ask for MORE!)
I used this to motivate and engage my 8th grade students of all abilities. And boy did it work! Now they want to know how all of this is used around the world and in VIDEO GAMES!! The concepts are not middle school level, but are a great way to get younger students excited about mathematics. We were working on coordinate graphing in hopes to apply it to functions and linear equations. They were very good at the coordinate graphing, so I asked how do you suppose you could graph on circular objects like the planets especially the EARTH? I got answers that involved longitude and latitude, mapping, grids, computers and even magic!
The lesson leads in so many directions - we had discussions on Geography, Parts of a Circle, Concentric Circles, Degrees of a Circle, Measurements, Technology, Military, etc........
It could easily be turned into a great interdisciplinary unit.
This is a very basic lesson on graphing Polar Coordinates. The kids are introduced to the "new" graph paper, degrees of a circle, Parts of a Polar Graph, background information, and real-world connections. I did this through guided notes, independent practice, and PowerPoint with animation, sounds, and video. KEY INCLUDED.
I wasn't introduced to this concept until Calculus, but my Middle Schoolers ate it up!