Coordinate Thinking

Downloadable (1 PDF & 1 PPTX)

Ideal for grades 5-6, this Mathematics lesson looks at the concept of developing grid systems to identify locations and shapes. Grid systems are used in various applications within our society from longitude & latitude, manufacturing automation, orienteering, and graphing. Students will complete an outdoor game where groups layout grids and draw images via Cartesian coordinates and mathematical descriptors. This lesson develops spatial and dimensional thinking as well as communication skills. There are strong interdisciplinary ties to geography.

After completing this lesson, students will:

  • Be able to recognize real world examples of coordinate thinking
  • Know what Cartesian coordinates are and how to use them
  • Become more familiar with grid systems and the steps necessary to instruct and plot specific points

Resources included:

  • Lesson plan
  • PowerPoint slides on coordinate thinking
  • Student resource: Grid Template

Additional resources required:

  • Digital connected devices
  • Large open space (field, gym)
  • Grid making materials: pylons, meter/yard stick, string, tape, chalk, etc.