Lesson 11

Constructing the Coordinate Plane

Lesson Narrative

In earlier lessons, students extended the number line to include negative numbers. In this lesson, students extend the coordinate axes to expand the coordinate plane. In a previous unit, students worked in the coordinate plane when they examined ratio and other relationships between two quantities with positive values. They now consider an expanded coordinate plane where negative numbers appear on both the vertical and horizontal axes. The crossing axes create the four regions of the coordinate plane, called quadrants. In this first lesson on the coordinate plane, students extend their understanding of the coordinate plane to points with negative coordinates. They attend to precision as they plan where to place axes on a grid and how to scale them to represent data clearly (MP6).

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Choose and label appropriate scales for the axes of the coordinate plane, based on the coordinates to be plotted, and explain (orally and in writing) the choice.
  • Generalize about the signs of coordinates that represent locations in each “quadrant” of the coordinate plane.
  • Plot a point given its coordinates or identify the coordinates of a given point on the coordinate plane.
  • Recognize that the axes of the coordinate plane can be extended to represent negative numbers.

Student Facing

Let’s explore and extend the coordinate plane.

Learning Targets

Student Facing

  • I can plot points with negative coordinates in the coordinate plane.
  • I know what negative numbers in coordinates tell us.
  • When given points to plot, I can construct a coordinate plane with an appropriate scale and pair of axes.

CCSS Standards

Building On


Building Towards

Glossary Entries

  • quadrant

    The coordinate plane is divided into 4 regions called quadrants. The quadrants are numbered using Roman numerals, starting in the top right corner.

    A coordinate plane, origin O. The area top & right of the origin is Quadrant 1, and counter-clockwise labeled quadrant 2, 3, 4.

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