Develop your students’ graphing abilities with this multi-day series of linear function challenges:
While the content is appropriate for younger students (Grade 6 and above), I’ve found that even older, more mathematically experienced students benefit from working through these challenges (even those in Calculus).
There are three ways to play:
- Display the slide image (graph plus brief directions, included below) via projector and have students work on a new Desmos graph
- Direct students to the graph URL (included below)
- Print a copy of the slide image and have students work with pencil and paper only
Depending on your classroom situation, you may find that one of those works better than another. My preference is for #1-2.
Also, though I typically advocate for 2:1 computing with almost all Desmos activities (2 students, 1 device), for this series of challenges I would recommend a 1:1 setup. Student collaboration is still a valuable element of this lesson, but requiring every student to apply what they’re discussing to their own Desmos graph has proved useful with each of my classes.
One final note before we get to the goods: This is not intended to be a single lesson, but rather eight separate mini-challenges. Depending on your students, the challenges may take anywhere from 2 to 20 minutes (or even longer). To keep this format fresh, and to keep students engaged, I recommend a “short and sweet” approach, rather than packing several challenges into a graph-matching-marathon.
Match My Graph #1
Match My Graph #2
Match My Graph #3
Match My Graph #4
Match My Graph #5
Match My Graph #6
Match My Graph #7
Match My Graph #8
For challenges that require a single line (#1, 3, 5, and 7), you may extend the task for early finishers with this:
- How many different equations can you find that will match the graph?
Even on the relatively simple Challenge 1, with zero prompting I saw at least six different solutions. Here are a few.
- CCSS 7.RP.A
Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems.
- CCSS 8.F.A
Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
- CCSS 8.F.B
Define, evaluate, and compare functions.
- CCSS HSF.IF.C
Analyze functions using different representations.
- CCSS HSF.LE.A
Construct and compare linear, quadratic, and exponential models and solve problems.
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