Proportional Relationships & Linear Equations Activities for Middle School

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

As a middle school math teacher, you want your students to understand the concept of proportional relationships and linear equations. This lesson offers some activities you can use to supplement your instruction.

Teaching Proportional Relationships and Linear Equations

If you teach math to middle school students, you are helping them make the transition from the often fairly concrete math associated with an elementary curriculum to the deep and complex math they will encounter in specialized classes in high school.

One of the most important things students will need to learn is what it means to have a proportional relationship in a mathematical concept. Linear equations are one of the most frequently referenced and used kinds of proportional relationships.

To make sure that your students comprehend these concepts deeply, you might want to incorporate some activities into your instruction. The activities in this lesson appeal to different learning styles and strengths while teaching students about proportional relationships and linear equations.

Proportional Relationships Activities

Here, you will find activities that focus students' attention specifically on what it means to have a proportional relationship.

Moving in Proportion

Sometimes, students can understand the concept of proportionality better if they can model it physically. Ask students to work with partners for this activity.

They should develop a pattern that shows movement in proportion. For instance, perhaps one partner takes five steps and the other partner takes three steps; then, they take ten and six steps respectively. Students should model their movements, and classmates should describe the proportional relationship they are seeing.

Images of Proportions

This is another activity that students can do in partnerships.

Ask students to create artistic images that model a proportional relationship, such as between two shapes or patterns. Then, ask all students to put their images together as a springboard into a discussion of what proportionality looks like on a visual level.

Linear Equations Activities

This section provides activities that will deeply familiarize your students with linear equations.

Color-Code the Equation

Ask each student to work on this activity independently.

Have them start with the general equation of the line. Ask them to rewrite the equation in a color-coded form, with one color representing slope, one for y-intercept, etc. Then, give them a series of linear equations written in different orders and ask them to rewrite each of the equations according to their color coding principles.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account