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Chameleon Graphing

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How would you graph the point (60, 70)?

We could start with this graph,

make the x and y axes much longer, and then graph our point. If we tried that, though, the graph would never fit on this screen.

We could try shrinking the axes, and then graphing the point:

point (60, 70)

This graph is so small that it is hard to understand.

Instead of trying to mark every whole number on the axes, let's count by tens. When we change the distance between points on our graph like this, we say that we are changing the scale of the graph.

Now, let's watch Sam graph the point (60, 70) on this graph. Sam always starts at the origin.

Sam at point (0, 0)

The x-coordinate of the point is 60, so Sam counts to 60 by tens.

Sam at point (60, 0)

Since the point's y-coordinate is 70, Sam must use his tongue to count to 70 by tens, moving straight up.

Sam's tongue at point (60, 70)

Before he leaves, Sam labels the point he graphed.

point (60, 70)


Please send questions, comments, and suggestions
to Ursula Whitcher

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