Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Whoopsies, Graphing Edition

Coordinate Plane Graphing

K20 Center, Alexandra Parsons, Valerie Wiegman | Published: September 18th, 2020 by K20 Center

  • Grade Level Grade Level 6th, 7th
  • Subject Subject Mathematics
  • Course Course Middle School Mathematics
  • Time Frame Time Frame 2-3 class period(s)
  • Duration More 150 minutes


Students will identify and explain common mistakes in graphing on an x,y axis and create visual methods of remembering how to graph without making the three most common graphing mistakes. This is intended not as an introduction of graphing, but a review/helpful way of clearing up misconceptions.

Essential Question(s)

In what ways can a person remember procedures?



Students will identify common mistakes when remembering how to graph on an (x,y) axis through completed examples.


Students will create anchor charts with tips to help remember how to graph correctly.


Students will individually identify how their graph solves three problems; they will share it with their group and then with the class.


Students will draw a picture, plot coordinates, swap coordinates with a partner and graph their partners drawn picture.


Students will display their coordinate plane


  • ruler

  • pencil

  • poster paper

  • crayons, markers, or colored pencils

  • Graph Paper (attached; one per student)


Use Slide 3 to show students two different images constructed on the coordinate plane (Graphing Mistakes, attached). The slide also shows the ordered pairs given for the image. Prompt the students to:

  • Figure out which one is right and which one is wrong

  • Figure out what happened to the wrong one


Once students have identified that there are mistakes that are made in graphing, inform them that they will make Anchor Charts over basic graphing and how to remember the skills and information needed to graph correctly. Tell the students that they need to think of creative ways to remember, including cute sayings or spatial reasoning/reminders.

Pass out poster paper and markers, and have students construct their poster and let them get to work.


Have each group present their anchor chart and their reasoning behind the tools they provided to remember how to graph correctly.


Pass out attached Graph Paper to students. Students will draw a picture of their choice onto all four quadrants of an x,y graph on a piece of graph paper, then record the coordinates (similar to the engage example) on a separate piece of paper. Then, students will do a Commit and Toss, where they crumble their coordinates (not their picture, just the ordered pairs), and throw them across the room. The students will find a set of coordinates that aren't theirs, and graph the coordinates on a fresh plane, and then connect the dots in order to end up with their partners drawing.


Have students go back to the creator of the image and compare what they made to what the original student had in mind. Hang the completed coordinate pictures around the room for students to view.