When you teach pre-algebra or algebra there are some skills that students just need to be good at. Graphing lines falls into this category. Some students really struggle to see the connection between the equation and the line on the graph. I find that they need to keep seeing this many times and in different ways. Also, it helps a lot if they talk about what’s happening. Sometimes as math teachers we don’t have students explain things enough and we assume that they understand because they get some problems right. So, I’ve put together this collection of activities that will get students lots of fun practice with graphing lines.
Students need to see what’s happening in different situations with lines. Also, they need to practice drawing a whole bunch of lines. I’ve included activities on this list that practice both seeing what’s happening with lines and drawing lines. You’ll want to model for your students until they feel comfortable doing it on their own. Remember that students can get thrown off when the slope or y-intercept are zero. So many details to learn, and so little time to learn them.
Here’s the list of activities:
Let’s dive in
Let’s take a closer look at the 8 activities for graphing lines included in this post. Some of them are on the computer and others are on paper. You’ll find some activities that students work on by themselves and other activities that they complete with partners. Students will get a lot of practice graphing lines completing some of these activities. So, buckle up and get ready to see some truly awesome and engaging activities.
Through the years I have noticed that my students need a lot, and I mean a lot, of practice graphing lines. They don’t remember it if they don’t get many repetitions over the course of the year. Also, I like for the practice to not be to completed and for them to get a little bit of practice at a time. That is why I created these practice activities for my students to get more practice graphing lines. These practice pages get students graphing lines in slope intercept form by identifying which line (equation) goes through which character.
There’s two sets, each with 3 practice sheets. To get this print-and-go resources, you can purchase the sets separately (volume I and volume II) or as a bundle. One of the sets has an animal theme and the other one has a variety of clip art.
For each sheet students have to graph five lines and identify which character or shape the line goes through. Also, at the end they have to identify where two lines cross. I wouldn’t use all of the activities at once. This is definitely the type of practice that I would distribute over time so that it becomes cemented in students’ brains.
I use this activity to prepare students for solving systems of equations by graphing. It’s an easy to use resource that can be used for independent practice in class, homework, bell work, a partner activity, or even as a math station. I also like to use this along with SmartPal dry erase sleeves so it’s easy to reuse with different classes or throughout the year. It’s a simple, but effective way to help students practice graphing equations.
Want more fun games to practice basic math skills in your classroom? Click here to get 5 free math games for the middle school math classroom.
Can’t wait to see you there!
This online tool from Phet Interactive Simulations is an amazing tool to show students what lines on graphs really are. This works great for a discovery based activity. You can show students that y-intercept and slope aren’t related. They can easily see things like when you change the y-intercept the incline of the line doesn’t change.
When using this resource, first I just have students play around with the graphing tool. Next, they talk to their partner about what they notice. After that I give them some equations to model and ask questions like, “When you change the slope, what happens to the y-intercept?” or, “When you change the y-intercept, what happens to the slope?” At the very end of the activity students write a reflection about what they learned from using the tool.
Last year we did this stained glass window graphing project in my class. There were 18 lines to graph and then students colored in the areas in between. It took longer than I expected, but I found out really quickly which kids were still stuck when it came to graphing lines from equations. The final product was amazing, and so many students were proud of the hard work that they put into the project. It was a fun way to incorporate art into our math lesson.
You can use notes in a variety of ways. When I find notes like these guided notes from Miss Jude Math I use them as an activity. Students work in partners to try and fill-in the page as much as they can. It works great as a review or as a bell ringer. Also, you could use this notes page as a game and give points for the different parts that students fill-in. What I really like that activity doesn’t take a whole lot of preparation on the teacher’s part. It’s just print and go.
This Make Your Own Picture activity (link to picture only) challenges students. It works best as practice after students feel very comfortable with graphing lines. I use it with my advanced math kids as a fast finisher activity. Students are challenged to draw a geometric design using lines. You can give them parameters like:
-4 lines that have positive slope
-4 lines that have negative slope
-2 lines with undefined slope
-2 lines with zero slope
After they create their design and a list of equations that make that design, I have students switch with each other and try to complete the other person’s design from the list of equations. Having someone else try out their design helps both students evaluate their work.
This Slope Intercept Game is a version of the classic board game Battle Ship. Students place their ships somewhere on their graph and then they battle someone. They each try to sink the other person’s ships by graphing different lines on their graphs. Students will get a lot of practice with lines. Plus, by working in partners they talk a lot about how graphing lines works on a coordinate plane. It’s a competitive game, but at the same time students really work together. This game won’t work well until the students are somewhat proficient at graphing lines. It works as a great formative assessment. By monitoring the room and giving feedback you see what students know, and you can make sure that students are graphing correctly and not developing bad habits. I had to download the file in order to print it.
This graphing lines riddle will help your students practice graphing lines from standard form. This page takes my students a while to finish because they have to convert the equations to slope intercept form and graph. They like the silly riddle that they solve. You can’t find a better type of activity to see who is struggling to understand graphing. I walk around the room and some students take a really long time to finish one. Usually, this is because they are stalling. This gives you a great chance to step in and give them some direct feedback.
If you are looking for some quick and simple practice, then this online game is a winner. This game has a graph and gives students a line to graph. Then, they work with the interactive graph to draw the line. This activity works perfectly as an anticipatory set.
This game site has some great features. There are two level of the game. The first one only has Quadrant I and the second level has all four quadrants. You can also print a worksheet version of the game. Plus, it has a feature to share on Google Classroom. They have games and activities for most standards. Try this one out for sure.
Try one thing
Students need so many repetitions with graphing lines and there are so many activities to choose from. I think the most important part of practicing graphing lines is to watch and see which students are struggling and to give them targeted feedback. They seem to struggle with a couple of things like flipping the slope upside down or understanding negative slope. There’s no need to use all of these resources, but choosing at least one activity from this list will give your students some engaging practice for graphing lines.
Thanks so much for reading! Until next time.
Join the Maze of the Month Club
Join to get exclusive free math mazes every month!