Sam's Home  Chameleon Home  Chameleon Graphing Java Applet  Ask Dr. Math 

Graphing Points in the Plane You can graph points the same way that Sam found the fly. Let's practice graphing different points in the plane. Try the Chameleon Graphing Java Applet We'll begin by graphing point (0, 0). Sam starts at the origin and moves 0 units along the xaxis, then 0 units up. He has found (0,0) without going anywhere! Sam marks the point with a green dot, and labels it with its coordinates. Sam has finished graphing point (0, 0). Next, let's graph point (0, 3). Sam starts at the origin, just like always. He moves 0 units along the xaxis, because the xcoordinate of the point he is trying to graph is 0. Sam uses his tongue to move a green dot 3 units straight up. The final step is labeling the point. Notice that point (0, 3) is on the yaxis and its xcoordinate is 0. Every point on the yaxis has an xcoordinate of 0, because you don't need to move sideways to reach these points. Similarly, every point on the xaxis has a ycoordinate of 0. Let's end with a more complicated example: graphing point (2, 2). Sam begins at point (0, 0). He moves 2 units along the xaxis. The ycoordinate of the point Sam wants to graph is 2. Because the number is negative, Sam sticks his tongue down two units. This makes sense, because negative numbers are the opposite of positive numbers, and down is the opposite of up. Before he leaves, Sam labels the point he graphed. Try the Chameleon Graphing Java Applet 
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