4-Corners Linear Equation Poster


This is a culminating activity that ties together students finding the slope from a graph, from two points and from an equation. This activity can be differentiated based on the level of students you teach. I used this for an honors algebra class, but varied the equation based on the level of the student. I gave slope intercept form of equations to struggling students and equations that were in no particular form to students who needed a challenge, so they must arrange into either standard form or slope intercept form. Once students have their equation, they must complete all four sections of this poster, of which can be done nicely on a 11 by 14 sheet of white paper. They can start in any section they wish, but they must find the necessary information to graph the equation of the line. This can be done first by creating a table of values for x and evaluating the equation to find the corresponding y-values and plotting these points. It can also be done by solving the equation for y, if not done so already, to create the slope intercept form. From this students can identify the slope and the y-intercept and graph the line. Finally, students can determine the x and y-intercepts from the equation and plot these two points to graph the line. Moreover, students can calculate the slope between these two intercepts to verify the value of the slope of the line.

What students should take away from this activity is that they have multiple ways to access the information they need to graph the equation of the line, regardless what they are given. As a teacher, you want to teach students flexibility in their solving methods and to be able to come at a problem from many different angles. To increase this flexibility you can have students do this activity again without giving them the equation, but rather one of the four corners of the poster. For instance, provide them with only the slope and the y-intercept and have them find the equation of the line, in multiple forms if you desire, the graph of the line, the x and y-intercepts and the table. Students will find it more difficult to go from just the slope and the y-intercept to a table, but if they understand what slope is they will quickly figure out what needs to be done. If the slope is 2/3 and the y-intercept is (-2, 4), then they have a starting point to work from, increasing the y-values by 2 and the x-values by 3. Additionally, students should also see they can decrease the y-values by 2 while also decreasing the x-values by 3 to create new order pairs for their table. This is the flexibility that is essential for students to fully understand working with linear equations.

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