Education Technology

Understanding Transformations

Activity Overview

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Understanding transformations looks at how points are translated and dilated (towards and away from the axis) and what this means for the equation. The new point tool makes this very intuitive.


The aim of this activity is to start with the transformation and then see how this transformation appears in the algebraic representation of the function. This approach leads to an understanding rather than memorising observations which are less intuitive when it comes to dilations, dilation factors and matrix representation. The new point tool makes this approach very visual, intuitive and much easier to understand. A video is included in the activity to help students follow along.


  • Transformation
  • Translate
  • Dilate
  • Reflection
  • Rotation
  • Primed

About the Lesson

The new Point tool allows students to define the movement of a point. With one point defined as P(x,y) students can define P'(x',y') and follow its movements. Students then see how these translations are represented algebraically rather than the other way around. In the extension component, students use matrices to perform the tansformations, a natural progression from the notation used in the main activity.