Math = Love: Algebra 2 Describing Graphs Unit

Monday, February 11, 2013

Algebra 2 Describing Graphs Unit

Happy Monday!

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all of the well-wishes and blog/twitter/pinterest love of late.  You guys have no idea how much you mean to me!

For Made 4 Math Monday, I want to share some resources I created for a recent Algebra 2 unit on describing graphs.

I introduced this unit to my Algebra 2 students by having them play graphing pictionary.  I used the domain and range graphing cards from Zero-Knowledge Proofs.  I gave each student two pages of cards to cut apart and keep in their notebook.  My students were surprisingly impressed by the small pocket we created to keep the cards in.  

Card Pocket for Interactive Notebook

Domain / Range Pictionary Cards

I had the students break up into pairs.  One student's job was to be the describer.  The other student was the drawer.  I gave students one minute to describe the graph to their partner.  It was quite enlightening to just walk around the room and listen to the vocabulary my students were using.  I was hoping to hear students discussing the domain, range, x-intercepts, or y-intercepts.  I hadn't introduced these terms yet, but I was hoping that they had been introduced to these concepts in Algebra 1.  I didn't hear any of these specific terms, but I did get extremely excited when I heard a student use the word "quadrant."    

(I really wish I had thought of letting my students play this again at the end of the unit to show how much they had grown!)

After letting the students struggle through the process, I attempted to refresh their memories of the concepts of domain and range.  

On day 2 of the unit, we created a foldable to summarize the three types of notation for domain/range.  You can read more about this foldable here.

Domain / Range Notation Foldable

After creating the foldable, we wrote the domain and range of the back of each of the graphs from our set of pictionary cards.  I intended for my students to be able to use these as flashcards, but I never saw them use them as such in class.

My next goal was for students to be able to recognize x-intercepts, y-intercepts, maximum and minimum values, and vertical and horizontal asymptotes.

I summarized these for my students in a booklet foldable for their interactive notebooks.
Characteristics of Graphs and Functions Foldable - Outside

Characteristics of Graphs and Functions Foldable - Inside
My students seemed to easily grasp the concepts of intercepts, maximums, and minimums.  The concept of an asymptote seemed to elude most of them.  I did use the HOY VUX mnemonic to help my students remember how to write the equations of horizontal and vertical lines.  But, I'm still not happy with my introduction of asymptotes.  I taught this unit before teaching rational expressions, so I couldn't exactly explain to my students what caused asymptotes.  This is definitely towards the top of my "figure out how to teach this better next year" list.  

Download file here


  1. Awesome! Thank you! Will re-work for Algebra 1.

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  3. You are a Rock Star Teacher! Thanks so much for sharing your AWESOME materials and ideas with us!