Function Notation Lesson Plan

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 15 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

In this lesson plan, students engage in physical and mental activities to learn how to interpret function notation. An assessment, active game and student produced worksheet encourage participation in the learning process.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define 'function notation'
  • Evaluate functions
  • Identify and write functions related to formulas


60-90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Understand that a function is a rule that assigns to each input exactly one output. The graph of a function is the set of ordered pairs consisting of an input and the corresponding output.1


Use function notation, evaluate functions for inputs in their domains, and interpret statements that use function notation in terms of a context.



  • Review concepts important to this lesson:
    • What is a function?
    • Why are functions important?
    • What does it mean to evaluate something in math?
    • What type of notation is used in math? Why?


  • Hand out transcripts of the video lesson.
  • Play the video lesson, pausing at time marker 3:05. Discuss:
    • Can anyone define 'function notation?'
    • In function notation, which portion is the dependent variable? Independent variable? How do you know?
  • Practice a few simple functions (as seen in this section of the video) on the board. Allow volunteers to solve the functions you put on the board.
  • Continue the video, pausing at time marker 5:07.
  • Ask for volunteers to go to the board and write common formulas in function notation. Some examples include the formulas for:
    • Perimeter of a square
    • Area of a circle
    • Circumference of a circle
    • Volume of a cone
  • Continue the video, pausing at time marker 6:57. Confirm that all students understand the process used to evaluate this function. Work through it again on the board, if necessary.
  • Continue the video, pausing at time marker 7:40. Ask students to find the composition given on the screen.
  • Pause the video at time marker 8:02 and have students compute the solution, then finish the video.


Bag Toss


  • Lesson worksheet
  • Index cards
  • Bean bags

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