A coordinate plane is a two-dimensional plane formed by the intersection of two number lines. One of these number lines is a horizontal number line called the x-axis and the other number line is a vertical number line called the y-axis. A coordinate plane is a tool used for graphing points, lines, and other objects. It functions like a map that follows directions from one point to another.
Elements of the coordinate plane, and graphing start at grade 7, however, students can start practicing finding points using coordinates as early as grade 4/5. The games below were designed to help students practice in a fun way. I find that playing these games helps students to remember that the first value of the coordinate is on the x-axis.
You can use the game boards to play 3 different games and do more activities.
Game 1- Make a word
Replace number 6 on a die with zero (use a marker). Take turns rolling the die, first one roll for the x-axis and then one roll for the y-axis. With every turn, you will get a coordinate that gives you a letter. Write down the letters you get. The winner is the first player to make a word with their letters (3 letters and up.)
Game 2 -Four in a row
Replace number 6 on a die with zero (use a marker). Take turns rolling the die, first one roll for the x-axis and then one roll for the y-axis. With every turn, you will get a coordinate that gives you a tile. Color the tile you get with your color. (different color for each player) The first player to
get four in a row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally wins.
Game 3-Decode my word
The players work in pairs. They both write a word or a sentence in code using the coordinate plane and the other player decodes it. The pair can also write a message for a different group.
Decode the teacher’s message, word of the day…
The teacher writes a message in code using the coordinate plane of the game board and the students decode it. It can be a morning message, the answer to a riddle, the word of the day, and more.
I am sure you can find more ideas for games and activities using the game board. Please share them with us.
Find the first game board to download below. This is the simplified version where the values lead to a square.
Find 3 more game boards with the values crossing the lines here.
These boards can be used to play four in a row and the code game (the letters are placed in different coordinates than in the first game board.