Saturday, February 16, 2013

Giant Floor Graph City

*Check out more similar ideas on my website!

For coordinate graphing, I made a giant floor graph using a sheet of plastic drop cloth and masking tape.  I taped the underside of the plastic and numbered each axis.

For several years now, I've used this graph as a way to get kids up and moving during our graphing unit.  However, this year I noticed some of my students having trouble following the grid lines up to each axis to find the numbers for the ordered pairs (coordinates).  Many of my students have visual/perceptual disabilities, so following a line can be difficult.  To meet that need, we came up with the following activities:

Driving on the Floor Graph
I printed basic clip art images that say "Crash!".  I laminated them and then placed them around the graph.  I brought in some Hot Wheels-style cars (Shh! Don't tell my kids!).  The students placed 2 cars at the crash site and then "drove" out along the "roads" (grid lines) until they reached each axis. 

Have you ever seen 6th grade boys with toy cars? Ha!  They had a blast!  And we solved the problem of students not being able to follow the grid lines.

This idea then morphed or grew into the Floor Graph City Challenge.

Floor Graph City Challenge
This activity has 2 parts.  I printed clip art of basic city locations like a hospital, school, park, church, house, and store.  I laminated these, then affixed a loop of tape on the back of each.  

For the first part of the challenge, I placed the buildings around the graph.  Students used their toy cars to "drive" out from each location to the axis lines.  

For the second part, I listed ordered pairs (coordinates) for each building, and the students had to place them correctly on the graph.  They could use the toy cars to check their work.

You could easily use a floor graph like this for many more activities.  What would you use if for?

UPDATE: here are the Google Docs I use with this activity. Feel free to download and edit!


  1. It looks like a giant version of the Chinese board game called Go.

  2. Thanks for this post! Just wanted to let you know that I blogged about our version of it...check it out! We had a ton of fun!