Day 2: Graphing on the Coordinate Plane

Abscissa and the author, drawn by Gene Ha!

Hey, everyone!

This isn’t necessarily something you need to do immediately after the writing prompt I posted yesterday. This is just something you can do whenever the fancy strikes you and your kids. Using graph paper, kids are going to draw the Solution Squad insignia, the “SS” symbol!

Graph points on the coordinate plane to solve real-world and mathematical problems.

Use a pair of perpendicular number lines, called axes, to define a coordinate system, with the intersection of the lines (the origin) arranged to coincide with the 0 on each line and a given point in the plane located by using an ordered pair of numbers, called its coordinates. Understand that the first number indicates how far to travel from the origin in the direction of one axis, and the second number indicates how far to travel in the direction of the second axis, with the convention that the names of the two axes and the coordinates correspond (e.g., x-axis and x-coordinate, y-axis and y-coordinate).

Now, this is a fifth grade standard in the Common Core, but honestly, it can be done before that grade and can certainly be done after to reinforce those skills!

Abscissa and Ordinate, art by Jason Howard and Jordan Searose

Today, you should read through p. 13 of Solution Squad, this time, adding pp. 103-104, which is the origin of The Ordered Pair, Abscissa and Ordinate. The idea here, is that you graph an ordered pair (x, y) whose locations is described by its relationship to two number lines, or axes (AX-eez), one horizontal, and one vertical. The horizontal axis is called the x-axis, and the vertical one is called the y-axis. Both of these number lines have positive numbers, negative numbers, and zero, which is neither negative nor positive.

On the x-axis, numbers grow greater as they move to the right. They grow lesser as they move to the left. On the y-axis, it looks like a thermometer. Numbers decrease as they move down, and increase as they go up. The two axes meet, or intersect, at a point where they are both zero. This point is called the origin.

Beginning at the origin, each point should be graphed like this:

The x-coordinate (actually called the abscissa, I didn’t make that up) tells you how far and in which direction to move along the x-axis. Trace along the x-axis with your finger until you arrive at that number. Imagine Abscissa running at hyperspeed along that line, pulling her brother behind her. Of course, if the abscissa is zero, she doesn’t have to move at all!

Once you arrive at that number, Ordinate takes over, either flying, diving, or holding still according to the value of the y-coordinate (or ordinate, once again a real mathematical term). Naturally, he takes his sister with him! Trace Ordinate’s path up, down, or still (if the ordinate is zero) with your finger, and where he lands is where you plot, or draw, the point that goes with the given ordered pair.

Notice on p. 13, how Abscissa (Xiao, starts with X) goes first, running horizontally, and then how Ordinate (Yao, starts with Y) flies off vertically next. This is the order in which you graph your coordinates!

Here’s the Ordered Pair Graphing Activity  that allows your kids to draw the Solution Squad symbol. Just download the PDF and print, and you’ll be off to the races!

Once you are finished with the SS logo, notice that the two S figures interlock. in fact, this entire figures tessellates, that is to say, it creates a tiled pattern called a tessellation with no gaps between figures. Look at the backgrounds of pp. 1-3 for an example! Then note on p. 10, that the seat belts on the Coordinate Plane interlock in the same way.

Ha! Get it? They fly around in the Coordinate Plane!  See pp. 108-109 for details.

Coordinate Plane, designed by Jim McClain and Christopher Jones

Have a great day, everyone!

Defendit Numerus!