# Coordinate Plane Pictures: Eagle, Homer, Bugs Bunny and much more

The most important three factors in real estate (buying property) is location, location, location. The same is true of coding images on a computer. Every pixel has a specific location ordered by a horizontal (x) and vertical (y) axis. It was critical that the Mathletes could read a location as an ordered pair (x,y) first in quadrant one (both values would be positive) and the 3-5th graders were also given the challenge of all four quadrants with positive and negative numbers including numbers half way between integers.

The way I have always taught coordinates is by thinking of the logic of entering a tall building with multiple elevators. First we locate our elevator and then push the button to go up or down to your floor. So if you are identifying a location at point (1,3), you locate the horizontal x value of 1, one unit to the right of the origin (0,0) and then go up three units. Point (3,0) is located by going three units to the right of the origin, but then not going up or down, remaining on the x-axis. Point (0,5) starts on the origin and then goes up five units to remain on the y-axis.

For the 3rd to 5th graders, negative x values start to the left of the origin and negative y values go down from the x-axis.

I recommended that the children start by looking at an image and record each point around the picture until the end of a picture and then write “stop.” Stop indicates that you no longer connect each successive point and start a new picture. For K-3rd graders, they started with the Eagle, and I gave the a Dog, Cat, Elephant, and Rabbit (this image is a little more challenging due to a few half values between whole numbers). For 3-5th graders, they started with Homer Simpson, and can work on Pikachu, Scoobie Do, and the Pink Panther.

K-3rd graders were also given sets of coordinates that will create pictures including an Eagle, Honest Prez (Lincoln), Father Christmas (Santa Claus), Hoo’s There (Owl), and River Riding (Sailboat). Plot the first coordinate and then connect that point by a line segment to the next set of coordinates and connect that second point to the third set of coordinates, and so on. At the end of a shape, do not connect the points to the next shape. Treat the new shape as an entirely new picture.

3-5th graders were given Tom Turkey in class, and 7 other pictures including Bugs Bunny, Charlie Brown, Taz, Tweedy, Foghorn Leghorn, Panda Bear, and Mickey Mouse.