*Contributor: Jonathan Heagy. Lesson ID: 12675*

Not being able to graph linear equations can be a slippery slope of failure. Using the simple technique outlined in this lesson (and rap song) will help you coordinate your graphing and art skills!

categories

subject

Math

learning style

Visual

personality style

Otter, Golden Retriever

Grade Level

Middle School (6-8)

Lesson Type

Skill Sharpener

In this lesson, you're going to have to rise up and run with what you've already learned about slope because you're going to use it to graph linear equations in a brand new way. You're going to use it to make math art! How do you think this is possible?

Let's start by quickly thinking about what *slope* means.

Find a family member or friend and teach them what you know about slope! You can tell them things like the definition and how to find it.

*Slope* is a measure of steepness, and is found by dividing the vertical change between two points by the horizontal change.

Now, you will learn about *slope intercept form*. This is a great way to visualize a linear equation and a very effective tool for graphing. This form of equation is called slope intercept form because it tells us the y-intercept of the equation.

*Slope intercept form* is y = mx + b. You're going to want to memorize it; it'll be very helpful. Take a moment to learn what these variables represent.

First, we have "m," which represents the slope of the equation. After that, "b" represents the y-intercept. Watch Lamar Queen's video, *Slope Intercept Rap*, to get a better understanding. It does a good job of telling you about slope intercept form and helps you memorize it! During the video, think about how knowing the slope and y-intercept might help us graph an equation more easily:

To graph an equation in slope intercept form, simply find your value for b and plot the point (0,b) on a coordinate plane. After that, just draw your slope! Remember that slope is rise over run. If your slope is 3, beginning at your y-intercept, move up 3 and over 1. If our slope is 3, and slope is equal to rise over run, think of it like 3/1! 3/1 is still equal to 3, so when graphing, we have to remember to move over 1 when our slope is an integer. It's that easy!

Try graphing the equation: y = 2x - 4.

- Start by identifying your y-intercept and slope. Our slope is our m value, which is 2, and our y-intercept is our b value, which is –4 or (0,-4).
- Plot your y-intercept!
- Draw in your slope!

You're all set! On a sheet of paper, compare and contrast graphing with slope intercept form and graphing with intercepts.

Continue on to the *Got It?* section for some practice.

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