Coordinate Plane Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught middle and high school history, and has a master's degree in Islamic law.

Mastery of the Cartesian plane and ordered pairs is essential to higher-level math skills. Use this lesson plan to guide and inspire your instruction of the coordinate plane. Find a video lesson on the topic, guided practice opportunities, and an activity that challenges students to use the plane to create a puzzle for classmates.

Lesson Objectives

After the completion of this lesson, your students should be able to do the following:

  • graph points on a Cartesian coordinate plane
  • describe the parts of a graph
  • draw a coordinate plane


  • 60 minutes


  • Graph paper

Curriculum Standards


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).


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.

Key Vocabulary

  • Rene Descartes
  • Cartesian coordinate plane
  • x-axis
  • y-axis
  • origin
  • quadrants
  • ordered pair


  • Watch the lesson Plotting Points on the Coordinate Plane.
  • Pause the video at 2:39. Ask for volunteers and then, one by one, have these students come to the board to draw your coordinate plane for you. One student will draw the two axes and one student will label the origin and the four quadrants.
  • Once the coordinate plane is complete on the board, have students copy the plane onto a piece of graph paper.
  • Stop at the following points and have students identify the ordered pair points at each time stamp:
    • 3:28
    • 3:39
    • 3:53
  • Continue playing the video. Stop again at 4:25 and ask students to plot the point (-3,-3) on their graphs.
  • Check in with understanding. If needed, provide examples of your own for students to add to their graphs.

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