Coordinate Grid Plotting -- A fun find

I came back to this awesome note on my easel!
Hi everyone!  Remember me??  I am Stephanie, you know, the girl who hasn't blogged in a month?  Yeah.  That's me.  But I have three amazingly adorable excuses why. :)

Anyway, as we all are well aware, maternity leave can't last forever and mine has sadly come to an end.  While I LOVE my job, I also LOVE my little guy so leaving him is such a bitter sweet thing.  Luckily, I also LOVE my class (let's see how many times I can say LOVE in this post...)

I went back last Friday, the day before winter break, and I want to share with you a little math project I did that was standards based but still kept the interest of the students long enough to complete in one day.

I found this awesome website called There is a special section in which you input words, and the machine spits out ordered pairs to create those words.  It is basically like a hidden picture but this time using letters.  Since graphing ordered pairs on a coordinate plane is a 5th grade standard, it was perfect!

So what I did was take some common phrases that the kids would know.  Things like:

The Pledge of Allegiance
To Infinity and Beyond
Don't Worry, Be Happy
It was a terrible, horrible, no good...blah blah blah

And typed them into the coordinate grid plot generator.  The generator says that it is best to use 3 to 4 words, so that is what I did.  Setting the grid to 20 x 20, I made 32 different plots, that when put together, created these sayings.  The one for the Pledge was 11 pages long.  The Buzz Lightyear quote was 2 pages long. Some were 3 pages, some were 4, some were more.

I created a class one, that said "HELLO" as a sample.  We did that one, step by step, together.

 Then, the kids set out to decipher the messages. This was REALLY hard for some students.  Once they were all done though, the kids had to figure out who their part of the message matched with.  They really had fun doing that!

Finally, we cut the pages down, they glued them onto 17 x 11 paper, and drew one cohesive picture that tied the quote together.

Here are some of the final products.

There were quite a few of these, to create the entire pledge.  They all had the same picture drawn on them and are going to be displayed next to each other on the wall underneath the bulletin board (as there is no way they will fit on the board itself!)

This group actually glued a second sheet of paper onto the first so that all three panels would fit together.

This is just part of the quote from Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
All in all, this was a fun, easy project that works to get some standards based material that is fit for display on the bulletin board.  If you would like to do this, and then display it, here is the task, CCSS standards, and rubric for you to use.  (it is in Power Point format, so you can edit it to suit your needs.  Just be sure you have power point.)

And, even though my maternity leave is over, I am glad to be back in the classroom, and writing on my blog.  I did miss the daily interaction I had with you, reader.  Thanks for hanging in there with me during my absence.  


  1. Very creative! Thanks for sharing! I have to teach coordinate graphing in 4th, but it's only positive numbers, not negative. Did that change with the CCSS? Gotta love how everything changes... Have a wonderful vacation!

    1. Hi Emily,

      I think it depends where you live. California adopted a few additional things for Common Core, like handwriting! I teach 5th and have always taught both positive and negative coordinate graphing, along with graphing a line.. we lost negative and graphing the line. I will probably throw in some negative coordinate graphing though because a huge chunk of my students this year have grasped positive so well that I need to continue to challenge them. We use coordinate graphs a lot for homework and centers. This looks like a fun site Stephanie! Thank you for the link.


  2. Hello, My Sweet BlogBuddy!
    I am sorry you have to return to school... After seeing those adorable pictures of Cameron, I would just stand and pout and refuse to go!
    Love the graphing activity... You always make things fun!

    Sending GIANT hugs...

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  3. Thank you for the tip about the website! That will come in handy. Going back must be really difficult, but how sweet to have that note to greet you:).

  4. Thanks for sharing b/c I will definitely use this! Much appreciated!

  5. Oh I could just hug you! We are delving into this when we get back to school next week and I will definitely be using this site--thanks so much Steph!!! Welcome back to class (though I can imagine how hard it will be to leave your precious little guy!!)

  6. Thank you so much for mentioning this and the website where you can make this. I am making a substitute binder for when I need to substitute in a different class within our school and this is an awesome activity. Hardly any work, it's educational and fun!
    I didn't know the website but have spend hours on it now. I love all the worksheets and games they made! :)


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