Education Technology

Transforming "F" on the coordinate plane

Activity Overview

Students move their cursor in activity center to occupy a unique point on a background letter "F" in quadrant 1. Students then together follow a rule for going to a different point (such as "use the opposite of the original x coordinate") and sketch the resulting transformation on their worksheet. There are a total of 11 transformation rules, which include examples of reflections, translations, rotations, and glide reflections.

Before the Activity

Set up guidelines so the class has incentive to cooperate and get the transformations done accurately and quickly. (Extra credit if they can get all 11 transformations done, perhaps?)

During the Activity

Once the activity is loaded and started, you do not need to stop it. You can press "pause" when each transformation is completed or if you need to give hints or corrections to students whose cursors are wandering around the wrong part of the coordinate plane. Use the "individualize student cursors" button on the view menu. Turn off or freeze the projector image if you want students to go to their point independently and without seeing the pattern as it takes shape. After one or two transformations, have students make guesses as to what the next rule will create - a rotation? a translation? etc. This is an elaboration on an activity by another teacher on activity exchange!

After the Activity

Make sure students have completed their sketches of the different transformations and also completed their descriptions of what happened! Perhaps a few individual students could make up their own rule for the class to try. Or try a dilation in which students enter 1/2 of each of their original coordinates.