The Coordinate Plane-Quadrant 1

Contributor: Erika Wargo. Lesson ID: 12786

Do you feel uncoordinated when it comes to finding locations on a map? Coordinate grids are like maps, and learning how to use them is really simple. Study, sing and play your way to quadrant quality!



learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Imagine a time when you couldn’t find something that was really important, like a book in the bookstore, or the place where you were supposed to meet your friends. Could you have used a map to help you?

Pretend it is the end of summer and you want to bury a time capsule full of memories.

  • How would a coordinate grid help you plot the exact location of your time capsule?
  • How could you use a coordinate grid to help others find your time capsule in the future?

If you created a map using a coordinate plane, you could provide specific directions to your time capsule!

A coordinate plane contains a vertical number line called the "y-axis" and a horizontal number line called the "x-axis." These two number lines intersect and create four distinct areas called "quadrants."

This lesson will discuss how to name a point on a coordinate grid and how to place a point using a given ordered pair in Quadrant One of a coordinate plane. Before you begin, watch the video Using a Coordinate Grid, courtesy of PBS LearningMedia. As you watch the video, pay attention to how the CyberSquad uses their maps.

  • How do the students use a coordinate grid? Share your observations with a teacher or parent.

As you saw in the video, the students used a grid to help them find locations. Before you can bury your time capsule, you will need to learn the basics of using a grid on a coordinate plane. This lesson will focus on Quadrant One of a coordinate plane.

Watch this video, Coordinate Plane and Ordered Pairs Song | 1st Quadrant, by NUMBEROCK, to learn about quadrant one of a coordinate plane:


After watching the video, discuss the following questions with a teacher or parent. Check your answers by clicking on the questions:

Before you move on, take a moment to review some important words that will help you today:

  • x-axis The line on a graph that runs horizontally (left-right) through 0
  • y-axis The line on a graph that runs vertically (up-down) through 0
  • Ordered pair Two numbers written in a certain order to identify a location on a coordinate grid; usually written in parentheses like this: (4,5). The "x" (horizontal) value is first, and the "y" (vertical) value is second.
  • Origin The starting point when plotting ordered pairs. The point (0,0) on a coordinate grid.
  • Coordinate plane The plane containing the "x" axis and "y" axis

How do you name a point on a coordinate grid? Take a look:

coordinate grid

The x-axis is the line that runs horizontally (left-right) through 0 on the grid.

The y-axis is the line that runs vertically (up-down) through 0 on the grid.

Ordered pairs are used to name and place points. The first number is the x-coordinate and the second number is the y-coordinate. The x-coordinate tells how many to count to the right from the origin. The y-coordinate tells how many to count up.

Take a look at an example. Point A is at (3,2). Notice how the value of x is 3, which is the distance to the right from the origin. The value of y is 2, which is the distance up from the origin.

Now, place a point using a given ordered pair. If we wanted to plot the ordered pair (5,4), where would we start? If you said start at the origin (0,0), you’re right. Since the x-coordinate is 5, count 5 units to the right. Since the y-coordinate is 4, count 4 units up. Put a point where the two lines intersect.

Not ready to practice yet? That’s OK. Review by using this activity by Scholastic Study Jams!, Ordered Pairs. This application requires the latest version of Flash.

Do you think you are ready to create your own map using a coordinate plane?

Go on to the Got It? section to practice and prepare to map out your time capsule!

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