# 198. You sunk my rectangle!

How about a game of ‘Battleships’ with a graphicalÂ twist? My Year 7 class loved playing this game and we developed understanding without resorting to tediously drawing out lots of graphs.

Objective

To be able to draw and label lines parallel to the x or y axes ie x=1, y=3

Equipment

• Squared paper
• Pencil
• Coloured pens or pencils
• Ruler or straight edge

Preparation

1. In pairs, agree the size of a set of axes and draw two identical sets each. Negative axes can be used as an extension.

2. On one set of axes draw a rectangle, making sure the edges are on whole numbers.

3. Extend the edges of the rectangle to give you two horizontal and two vertical lines. Label the lines accordingly. You are now ready to play!

Playing the game

1. Players take it in turns to guess a straight line eg x=3. Their partnerÂ says ‘Hit’ if it is the edge of their rectangle and ‘Miss’ if it isn’t. This information is recorded on the players second grid so they can keep track of their guesses.

2. The game continues until a rectangle is revealed:

3. The player must then label where the lines intersect. The losing player may find it useful to continue guessing.

Extension: What do thy notice about the co-ordinates and the equations of their lines?

4. What is the area of the rectangle?

Extension: Is there a link between the co-ordinates and the area?

Confession time!

I like teaching co-ordinates.

I like teaching plotting graphs.

But …..

Getting pupils to draw axes drives me up the y-axis.

Right now I can sense people shaking their heads – why are you doing co-ordinate plotting if they can’t draw axes?

The problem is that they can draw axes, but for some pupils it takes about half an hour to get lines drawn with a ruler, axes marks equally spaced, lines (not gaps) numbered. For other pupils, their particular SEN means it’s a struggle using equipment. Should I be penalising pupils because they are slow to draw axes, when I know they’ll work brilliantly if I give them axes?

So I’ve put together an A4 sheet of axes. There are two identical sets: the x-axis goes from 0-10, the y-axis goes from 0-18. There is also space to write name and Question number so you can keep track of who has done what. I know there are many websites that will generate these for you on demand, but I’ve just used what was available to me at the time to make something that works for my pupils.