Education Technology

Navigating the USA with the coordinate plane

Activity Overview

The students will be plotting points on the United States Map. This background and activity could be used and/or modified to fit any social studies class. Students could explore topics ranging from graphing coordinates in pre-algebra to identifying capitals of states in geography.

Before the Activity

TI-Navigator is required for this activity.
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During the Activity

In mathematics, this mathematics activity could be used to talk about coordinate plane with students'. To begin the activity, the teacher could instruct the students' to pick a place that they would like to go in the USA. After the students' have selected their points, discuss students' ordered pairs and trends or patterns that they notice. For example, the teacher could ask which states have positive x and y coordinates.
In social studies, this activity could be used to have students identify geographic items such as capitals, rivers, mountains, deserts, and forests. The students could also be given individual cards with information that is specific to a particular state such as mascots, capitals, state flowers, etc.
Then the students would be asked to find the state that corresponds with their card and a class discussion could follow.

After the Activity

Review student results:

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary