Plotting Points Introduction

Plotting points is challenging for some students, even in high school. This approach uses the analogy of setting up a ladder for the x-value and climbing the ladder for the y-value.

Jamboard with Ladder

This activity is conducted on a Google Jamboard with moveable objects (see photo at the bottom on how to access it).The activity draws on prior knowledge, which allows for the steps for positioning the point point to be meaningful. The x-axis is established as the ground, with an image of green grass superimposed over the axis. The ladder is climbed, moving toward the sun. This aligns the ordered pair with the axes. It also allows for color coding on coordinate planes on subsequently used handouts.

The steps are listed below and can be viewed on Youtube or a FB Reel showing the steps.

  • Move the ladder to the appropriate location on the ground.
  • Position the dot at the bottom of the ladder on the x-value.
  • Move the dot up the ladder to the appropriate y-value.
  • Pull the ladder away.

Jamboard without Ladder

Next, the ladder is faded but the color is maintained. 3 is green so move along the grass to the 3. Then yellow 5 so move up 5, towards the sun.

Finally, the colored numbers are retained but the grass and sun are faded. References to the green grass and sun can be used as necessary, even with highlighters on the Jamboard.


The Jamboard can transition to a handout with matching coordinate planes. The grass and sun are faded. If a student is stuck, you can return to the Jamboard to model the problem.

Students can use highlighters as necessary to replicate the grass and sun numbers. The highlighters can be faded to result in a regular plotting a point problem.

Accessing Jamboard

To access the Jamboard, make a copy.

Leave a Reply