Humans vs. Zombies! (or How We Learned About the Coordinate Plane)

This week began our study of the coordinate plane.  I used the first lesson of Transition to Algebra’s unit 6 as a pre-assessment.  It proved that I needed to take a couple steps back and address many of the basic concepts relating to the coordinate plane (axes, integers, ordered pairs, quadrants, etc…) in a more direct way.  Our class goals are pulled from the Common Core State Standards Initiative:

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 8.23.00 PM

First, I used this game as an anchor for plotting ordered pairs, then the students did some individual practice on worksheets.  Today we played another game…

Humans vs. Zombies!

My very crafty assistant teacher, Ms. Avellino, took a game from a website and turned it into this…

Humans vs. Zombies

Humans vs. Zombies

In this take on battleship, students use their knowledge of the ordered pairs and the four quadrants in an attempt to defeat their enemies.  The game is simple, but effective.  First both teams place their five pieces on their board in any of the four quadrants.

Hiding the zombies

Hiding the zombies

Then each team takes turns guessing an ordered pair where they think the other team is hiding their humans or zombies.  If its a hit or a miss the guessing team marks it on their recording board.

It's a hit!

It’s a hit!

The teams take turns like this until one team has destroyed all of their opponent’s pieces.  Practicing plotting ordered pairs can get boring especially if you’re only asked to do it over and over again on a blank coordinate plane.  This game creates a context in which students don’t even realize the practice they’re are engaging in during game play.  But, if played in with partners, you get to hear some really good conversation about strategy relating to finding the other teams pieces and encouraging correct usage of graphing vocabulary is important.

Here are some more pictures from the game today…





It was a fun day and now I know that the class is ready to move onto more challenging applications of the coordinate plane such as Mathalicious’ Icy Hot lesson.

3 thoughts on “Humans vs. Zombies! (or How We Learned About the Coordinate Plane)

  1. Pingback: #MTBoS Mod: Mathalicious Edition | The Learning Kaleidoscope

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