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This lesson provided by:
Author: Jane Kemp
System:Vestavia Hills City
School:Liberty Park Middle School
Lesson Plan ID: 26245

Human Ordered Pairs


Students will work in collaborative groups to create a life-size Cartesian plane and insert themselves as the ordered pairs.

This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.

Content Standard(s):
MA2013(5) 3. Generate two numerical patterns using two given rules. Identify apparent relationships between corresponding terms. Form ordered pairs consisting of corresponding terms from the two patterns, and graph the ordered pairs on a coordinate plane. [5-OA3]
MA2013(5) 23. Use a pair of perpendicular number lines, called axes, to define a coordinate system with the intersection of the lines (the origin) arranged to coincide with the 0 on each line and a given point in the plane located by using an ordered pair of numbers, called its coordinates. Understand that the first number indicates how far to travel from the origin in the direction of one axis, and the second number indicates how far to travel in the direction of the second axis, with the convention that the names of the two axes and the coordinates correspond (e.g., x-axis and x-coordinate, y-axis and y-coordinate). [5-G1]
MA2013(5) 24. Represent real-world and mathematical problems by graphing points in the first quadrant of the coordinate plane, and interpret coordinate values of points in the context of the situation. [5-G2]
MA2013(6) 23. Draw polygons in the coordinate plane given coordinates for the vertices; use coordinates to find the length of a side joining points with the same first coordinate or the same second coordinate. Apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems. [6-G3]
Local/National Standards:

NCTM Standards

  • Develop meaning for integers and represent and compare quantities with them
  • Explore numbers less than 0 by extending the number line and through familiar applications


Primary Learning Objective(s):

  • Students will show how to plot an ordered pair on a Cartesian plane
  • Students will examine the differences between positives 
  • Students will identify the origin and the X/Y axis
  • Students will be able to identify the ordered pair of a given point on a Cartesian plane


Additional Learning Objective(s):

  • Students will create a picture by plotting ordered pairs on the Cartesian plane

  • Students will relate this skill to longitude/latitude


Approximate Duration of the Lesson: 61 to 90 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:

Items needed per group to take outside:

  • Yarn
  • Black Sharpie
  • Ruler
  • At least 5 pencils per group
  • Human Ordered Pairs activity sheet (attached)

The following will not need to be taken outside, but will be used upon return to the classroom.

  • Cartesian Plane Quiz (attached)


Technology Resources Needed:

  • Computer with Internet access

The teacher must know how to plot ordered pairs on a Cartesian plane.  She must also know the basic vocabulary involved, X axis, Y axis, origin, ordered pairs, coordinate (Cartesian) plane, quadrant.

Cartesian Plane


1) Divide class into collaborative groups of about 5 students.

2) Have students cut two 20ft pieces of string.

3) Groups should gather all materials (listed above) and everyone should go outside for this activity.

4) Once outside, groups need to spread out, giving them plenty of room for their 20ft X-axis and Y-Axis, which will be made out of the 2 pieces of yarn.

5) Groups set the X-axis and Y-axis for their Cartesian plane, being sure they are as close to perpendicular as possible.  Once they are satisfied with the axes, they must tie each end of the yarn to a pencil.  Then they should stick the pencils in the ground to hold their Cartesian plane in place.

6) Students take a ruler and a Sharpie, putting a one foot space between each point on the X-axis and the Y-axis. Cartesian planes are now complete and groups should be ready to plot ordered pairs.

7) Groups follow directions on the Human Ordered Pairs activity sheet (attached) to complete the activity.

8) Gather materials and go back to the classroom.

9) Upon return to the classroom, have students sit with groups and go over (whole class) each of the tasks they had to do while outside.

Attachments:**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download. CollorativeGroupRubric.xls
Assessment Strategies:

  • Group collaboration rubric (attached)
  • Cartesian Plane Quiz (attached)



Students play Cartesian Battleship (see attached)


Allow students to use the Interactive Maze Game

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
Variations Submitted by ALEX Users:
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