I'd love to attribute the idea to one person, but I have seen it literally all over the web. I will just say that while I am sharing it here, it did not originate with me. My students loved this activity and definitely gained a deeper understanding of slopes of line and working with linear equations.
Here's what we did:
- Everyone started with a piece of graph paper on which we drew an x-axis and y-axis in the center.
- Each student wrote a linear equation and then graphed it.
- Each student wrote the linear equation at the end of the line.
- Students continued writing more equations and drawing more lines to make designs. I encouraged students to play with positive and negative slopes as well as what happens when an equation is y = a number or x= number.
- Some students found that they wanted to place a line in a distinct place, so they graphed the line first and then used two points to determine the equation of the line.
- Students continued in this manner until they were happy with the shapes they had created.
- Then, the fun began. Everyone added color. Some designs turned out as abstracts while others were able to find distinct shapes in their designs. This one was determined to be a bird-fish - one that can fly or swim. I believe it is supposed to be flying into the sky. We had several other fun designs. It was a great hit and a great reminder about the joys of thinking outside the box when we teach even traditional concepts such as slope and linear equations.