Math = Love: Slope Name Art

Friday, January 24, 2014

Slope Name Art

I've seen this idea multiple places online, so I'm not exactly sure who to credit.  Most recently, I've seen it from Pam J. Wilson and Mrs. Hester.  It's a variation on two activities that I did last year.  So, my students have been working on slope.  We started out by discussing the four types of slope.  Slope Dude was a must for this!  Y'all are probably tired of hearing me go on and on about Slope Dude.  But, I just can't help it.  My students think the video is stupid, but I can guarantee you that they will NEVER forget Slope Dude's most infamous words.  One of the new rules I've made in my class is that students are only allowed to say the word "undefined" if they say it like they are falling off of a cliff!  "UNDEFIIIIIIIIIIINED!"

So, last year, we classified the slope of each line segment of each letter of the alphabet.  I enjoyed this activity, but this year I wanted students to create something to keep in their interactive notebooks.  This year, I have made it my goal for our interactive notebooks to be comprehensive.  Last year, there were a lot of gaps in our notebooks.

Last year, I also had students draw pictures and classify the slope of each line segment.  Again, it was a fun activity, but my students had barely anything in their notebooks regarding the four kinds of slope.

Slope Name Art
This year, I decided to have my students create what I deemed "Slope Name Art."  On the next blank page in their notebooks, I instructed students to write their name as large as possible.  The only caveat was that they could only use straight lines.  Any letters of the alphabet that would normally be written using curves would need to be modified.

I illustrated on the board with my own name.  Once students wrote their names, their next task was to classify the slope of each line segment.  I only classified the slope on the first two letters in my example.  My students were required to do this for every single letter.  They were given the chance to write their first name, last name, or both.        

Once they had classified the slope of each line segment, I asked them to color-code their name.  Choose one color and highlight all the line segments with a positive slope with that color.  Choose another color to highlight all the line segments that have a negative slope, etc.

In my notebook, I simply created a key that told which color represented which type of slope.

Slope Name Art
My students really enjoyed this activity.  It was almost a sort of competition between them.  "I only have one negative slope in my name."  "Almost all my letters are made up of zero slopes and undefined slopes."


  1. I love this! I'm definitely going to use it next year.

  2. I love this! My Pre-Algebra students are coming close to learning about slope for the first time and they would really enjoy this activity!

  3. I am so using this. This is a great way to emphasize the slope ideas.

  4. Sarah,
    You are awesome and I appreciate you sharing all of your amazing ideas! THANK YOU!

  5. I had a similar activity where students had a space to draw a picture that had to have at least five lines with each type of slope in it. They had to label all the lines that they counted as one of their five. It worked out well, most of them drew houses once they saw that many different types of lines were in that particular figure. I am doing INB this year so I hope that I can do both activities if I have time, or if I have more artistic kids, I would do the drawing, a class with not many artists, would get the name activity.

    1. I've done both activities as well. LOVE the idea of letting students choose! #Brilliant