The objective of this cooperative learning activity is for the student to connect the concept of slope and the y-intercept from a linear equation to its graph. Since this activity is designed for exploration, it is best done before formally discussing forms of equations of lines.
The following activity is designed for two students working together; however, instructors may need or want to increase the number of students in one group.
The activity is conducted in two parts.
Each pair of students is given a random equation (preferably in standard form) from the List of Equations. Note that these equations are grouped with the same slope, for instructor convenience. Depending on the number of students in your classroom, you may want to remove or add equations.
After each pair of students is given an equation, the instructor will need to give each student a Relating Linear Equations and Their Graphs Worksheet along with a copy of Graph Paper. Students are then asked to find the following information about their line:
From this information, pairs of students will then look for other pairs of students that have the same slope as their own line. In a newly formed (larger) group, students complete the following:
Now, in part 2, the original pairs of students get back together with their original equation and find the y-intercept of the line.
After each pair of students has found the y-intercept of their original line, they should find other pairs of students in the classroom with the same y-intercept. In the newly formed group, the students complete the following:
At the end of the activity, instructors may wish to bring the class together and discuss the conclusions that were made from Part 1 and Part 2.
Instructors may assess this activity by the level of student participation during the activity and responses on the Relating Linear Equations and Their Graphs worksheet.
Note that this activity is a modification of “Cooperative Learning Activities” by Sue Parsons (Cerritos College) presented at the NISOD International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence on May 21-24, 1995 in Austin, Texas.