I taught Algebra 1 to high school students for six years. Over the course of those six years, I blogged about many of the Algebra 1 activities I created for them to do.
I hope you enjoy this round-up of 108 fun and engaging Algebra 1 activities. Let me know if you find an activity to use in your own classroom!
Algebra 1 Activities
Teaching the Distributive Property using Combo Meals
After having to reteach my Algebra 2 students the distributive property, I wanted to make sure my Algebra 1 students had a strong understanding of the distributive property. This lesson teaching the distributive property with combo meals was the perfect solution!
Snowball Fight – Solving Equations Activity
Students will love solving equations, crumpling their paper into snowballs and having a fun and engaging snowball fight in math class!
Solving Equations Auction Review Game
Can students solve the equations correctly so they know which lots to bid on and which to avoid in this fun solving equations auction review game?
Dice Activity for Reviewing Square Roots
This dice-based activity is the best activity ever for reviewing square roots. I have never had more engaged students in my algebra classes!
Four Types of Slope Pictures
Check out the awesome artwork created by my Algebra 1 students using the four different types of slope.
Standard Form of a Linear Equation Cut and Paste Activity
After my Algebra 1 students finished their standard form of a linear equation foldable, I created a standard form cut and paste activity for my students to complete. I chose an equation in standard form that I wanted them to practice converting to slope intercept form. I printed each piece of the process on colored paper to give to my students to unscramble and arrange.
Flyswatter Review Game for Different Forms of Linear Equations
I created this flyswatter review game to give my Algebra 1 students practice identifying the different forms of linear equations.
Adding and Subtracting Polynomials Activity
Today I want to share an Adding and Subtracting Polynomials Activity I created for my Algebra 1 students. One of our objectives in Algebra 1 is that students will be able to add and subtract polynomials. These polynomial building cards can be used for so many different activities!
Domain and Range Pictionary Activity
Students are sure to get lots of practice with domain and range with this pictionary style activity!
Literal Equations Scavenger Hunt Activity
I realized I never wrote about the literal equations scavenger hunt activity I did with my Algebra 1 students for much-needed extra practice. Let’s change that now!
Real Number System Nesting Boxes
These Real Number System nesting boxes will help students understand the relationships between the various subsets of the real number system.
Rational and Irrational Numbers Exploration Activity
This exploration activity will get students thinking about what happens when you perform various operations with rational and irrational numbers.
Interactive Domain and Range Foldable
I used the same cards that we used for Domain and Range Pictionary to create an interactive domain and range foldable for my Algebra classes.
Twizzlers Linear Regression Lab Activity
I learned about using twizzlers for linear regression from Tammy Ballard with Wake County Public Schools. I modified her activity to create my own twizzlers linear regression lab that met the needs of my specific group of algebra students.
Exponent Rules Review Game – The Game of Grudge
To kick off our review of exponent rules, we played an exponent rules review game that I found on Nathan Kraft’s blog.
Exponent Rules Card Sort Activity and Karuta Game
After creating a foldable book of exponent rules, my students needed some practice problems. This was the perfect time to pull out an exponent rules card sort activity.
Four Types of Slope Name Art Activity
This slope name art activity is the perfect way to introduce students to the four types of slope.
Modeling Function Machines with Flip Chutes Activity
Help students to understand how function machines work with these hands-on flip chutes.
Linear Equation of the Day Routine
I implemented this linear equation of the day routine in my Algebra 1 class to help keep them graphing throughout the year in order to keep the concepts fresh in our brains for the end-of-instruction exam at the end of the year.
Linear Functions Stacking Cups Lesson
Introduce linear functions with a fun and engaging lesson about how many cups must be stacked to equal their teacher’s height.
One Variable Inequalities Square Puzzle Activity
I want to highlight this one variable inequalities square puzzle shared by Public Schools of North Carolina in their Resources for Algebra Blackline Masters collection (page 1 of PDF). The file no longer exists online, but an archived version still exists due to the Internet Archive.
Factoring Polynomials Square Puzzle Activity
I want to highlight this factoring polynomials square puzzle shared by Public Schools of North Carolina in their Resources for Algebra Blackline Masters collection (page 2 of PDF). The file no longer exists online, but an archived version still exists due to the Internet Archive.
Multiplying Radicals Square Puzzle Activity
I want to highlight this multiplying radicals square puzzle shared by Public Schools of North Carolina in their Resources for Algebra Blackline Masters collection (page 3 of PDF). The file no longer exists online, but an archived version still exists due to the Internet Archive.
Quadratic Formula Songs
One of my favorite ways to help students to memorize the quadratic formula is to lead them in quadratic formula songs. Here are several different songs I have used with students.
Slope Art Assignment
During my first year of teaching, I assigned my students to draw a picture and label the different types of slope in the picture to create slope art.
Point-Slope Form Dice Activity
I created this point-slope form dice activity for my Algebra 1 students. They used foam dice to generate random points and then used Desmos to check that they had written the equation between those lines correctly using Desmos.
Factoring vs Distributing Card Sort Activity
I created this factoring vs distributing card sort activity to show my algebra students that factoring isn’t something to be afraid of. It’s just the opposite of distributing.
Always Sometimes Never Dice Activity for Real Number System
I created this always sometimes never dice activity for classifying numbers according to the real number system. We completed this after sorting numbers using our Real Number System Nesting Boxes. I always hated Always, Sometimes, Never questions when I did them as a geometry student in high school. But, I decided to give it a try with my students.
Drawing Boxes for Domain and Range
In the past, my students have always done a good job of finding domain and range from a table or set of ordered pairs in Algebra 1. This method of drawing boxes for domain and range has really helped them understand how to find domain and range from a graph.
Factoring Quadratics Question Stack Activity
This self-checking question stack activity is the perfect introduction to factoring quadratics. Want to practice multiplying binomials instead? Just turn all of the cards over!
Slope Dude Says
Last week, we got to play one of my favorite algebra games ever: Slope Dude Says. Before playing the game, I had to make sure my students had been introduced to Slope Dude.
Quadratic Formula Memory Assignment
Looking for a fun way to practice the quadratic formula? Students have to recite the quadratic formula from memory to one teacher, one family member, and one additional person of their choosing.
Quadratic Formula Dry Erase Activity Template
After the success of using a quadratic formula template in my quadratic formula foldable, I decided to create a quadratic formula dry erase template for my students to use throughout the rest of the quadratics unit.
Arithmetic Geometric or Neither Color Coding Activity
My Algebra students completed this arithmetic geometric or neither color coding activity after we created our arithmetic, geometric, or neither foldable in our interactive notebooks.
Best Line of Best Fit Contest
This Desmos activity kept students engaged and interested while learning how to draw lines of best fit by hand.
Evaluating Functions War
Do you want to play a game of evaluating functions war? My Algebra 1 students are required to be able to evaluate functions from a table, equation, or graph. Last year, I taught these as separate skills. This year I combined the skills and created this engaging and fun game to give my students lots of much-needed practice evaluating functions.
Evaluating Expressions Sorting Cards Activity
This sorting cards activity for evaluating expressions can be used several different ways in any algebra classroom!
Function Auction Activity
One of my favorite activities for introducing the concept of a function in Algebra 1 is to host a Function Auction.
Function vs Not a Function Puzzle Activity
I created this function vs not a function puzzle to help my students practice determining if a relation is a function or not a function.
Evaluating Functions Puzzle Activity
After making my Function (or Not) Puzzle to give students practice classifying relations as a function or not a function, I was eager to make a similar open middle style activity to practice a different skill. I settled on creating an evaluating functions activity that would give students practice evaluating functions.
Combining Like Terms Cut and Paste Activity
This Combining Like Terms Cut and Paste Activity really helps students understand what a term is in an expression.
Operations with Radicals Question Stack Activity
Make practicing operations with radicals fun with this self-checking question stack activity.
Simplifying Radicals Puzzle
Students will get lots of practice simplifying radicals with this square tarsia puzzle.
Combining Like Terms Maze Activity
To give my students some practice on combining like terms, I assigned them to work through a combining like terms maze in their groups.
Representations of a Relation Telephone Game
I created this representations of a relation telephone game to give my Algebra 1 students practice switching between the four different representations of a relation: set of ordered pairs, input/output table, coordinate plane, and mapping diagram.
Crow and the Pitcher Activity for Introducing Rate of Change
This crow and the pitcher activity for introducing the concept of rate of change was a huge hit with my Algebra 1 students. My math students loved getting out the science lab materials to do a lab activity since they usually only see the labs I have set up for my physical science students.
“Win Some Cash!” Task
I really liked how this Win Some Cash task went with my Algebra 1 student! It was a great introduction to different types of parent functions.
Linear Auction Activity
This linear auction activity was a fun way to practice linear vs non-linear functions in Algebra 1.
Turkeys in the Oven Game – Writing Linear Equations
Looking for a fun game to give your algebra students practice writing linear equations from a graph? Check out this Turkeys in the Oven Game.
Two Variable Inequalities Card Sort Activity
I decided to create a two variable inequalities card sort activity to introduce the topic to students before we even took notes over the topic.
One Variable Inequalities Card Sort Activity
I created this one variable inequalities card sort activity for my Algebra 1 students to complete before we moved on to looking at two variable inequalities. Students are given five number lines and five equations/inequalities to match up.
Simplifying Radicals Dry Erase Work Mat
Yesterday, I was able to use the simplifying radicals dry erase mat that I created to help my Algebra 1 students organize their work while simplifying radicals.
Adding and Subtracting Polynomials in Function Notation Question Stack Activity
I created this adding and subtracting polynomials in function notation activity for my Algebra 1 students.
Classifying Sequences Activity – Arithmetic, Geometric, or Neither?
I created this classifying sequences activity to give my algebra students practice distinguishing between geometric and arithmetic sequences. I also threw in some other sequences which we classified as neither.
Always Sometimes Never Activity for Mean, Median, Mode, and Range
Check out this Always Sometimes Never Activity for Mean, Median, Mode, and Range. This was the perfect way to review the measures of central tendency with my Algebra 1 students. I used this activity as a last-minute review before our quiz over finding measures of central tendency.
Factoring Trinomials with GCFs Question Stack Activity
Help your students gain confidence factoring trinomials with GCFs using this self-checking question stack activity.
Hula Hoop Scatterplot Activity
This hula hoop scatterplot activity gets students moving in math class while learning about how to create a scatterplot and use that scatterplot and linear regression to make predictions.
Always Sometimes Never for Absolute Value, Opposite, Reciprocal, and Opposite Reciprocal
These Always Sometimes Never questions will get students thinking about the meaning of absolute value, opposite, reciprocal, and opposite reciprocal.
“One Incorrect” Order of Operations Activity
I love this One Incorrect Order of Operations Activity that was shared by Greta Bergman. Students are given 8 expressions. 7 of the expressions simplify to -13. 1 of them doesn’t.
“One Incorrect” Evaluating Expressions Activity
I gave my Algebra 1 students a One Incorrect Activity from Greta Bergman to give them some extra practice with evaluating expressions. Students had to evaluate expressions until they found the one that didn’t equal 36.
Add Em Up Activity for Non-Standard Operations
I created this Add Em Up Activity to practice one of the new skills included in Oklahoma’s math standards – non-standard operations.
War Activity for Practicing Absolute Value, Opposite, Reciprocal, and Opposite Reciprocal
This War activity will give students lots of practice with math vocabulary including absolute value, opposite, reciprocal, and opposite reciprocal.
Non-Standard Operations Sorting Activity
This sorting activity gives students lots of practice with various problems involving non-standard operations.
Two Truths and a Lie Combining Like Terms Activity
Check out how to use the 2 Truths and a Lie structure to have students think critically about combining like terms.
Roll a Number Dice Activity for Practicing Absolute Value, Opposite, Reciprocal, and Opposite Reciprocal
Rolling dice to generate random numbers for an activity always makes for a lot of fun. This Roll a Number Dice activity for reviewing absolute value, opposite, reciprocal, and opposite reciprocal is no exception!
Translating Algebra Dry Erase Mat Activity
Use this dry erase mat to figure out what students already know about translating between algebra and words before you jump into your lesson!
Distributive Property Question Stack Activity
Students will get lots of practice working with the distributive property in this self-checking question stack activity.
Evaluating Expressions Question Stack Activity – Advanced
Students will get lots of practice working with evaluating expressions in this self-checking question stack activity.
Open Middle Style Activity for Equations with One/No/Infinite Solution(s)
This Open Middle Style activity will really assess whether students understand what will make an equation have one solution, infinite solutions, or no solution.
Function Machines Activity from CPM
This function machines activity from CPM never fails to get students engaged and doing lots of math!
Solving Equations with Variables on Both Sides Sorting Activity
Give students plenty of practice with solving equations with variables on both sides with this fun sorting activity.
“One Incorrect” Distributive Property Activity
In this activity, students were given eight different algebraic expressions that needed to be simplified through applying the distributive property and combining like terms. Seven of the eight expressions simplify to the expression in the center. Find the one that doesn’t.
Graphing Solutions on a Number Line Speed Dating Activity
This speed dating (or quiz quiz trade) activity will help students learn how to graph solutions on a number line.
Translating Algebra Flyswatter Game
Help students remember which expressions go with which operation in this fun, action-packed flyswatter game.
Literal Equations Connect 4 Activity
I highly recommend this Literal Equations Connect 4 Activity from Math by the Mountain. It is a free download on Teachers Pay Teachers, and my students absolutely loved it. When we stopped the activity, my students literally begged to do more!
Function vs Not a Function Card Sort Activity
This function vs not a function card sort activity is the perfect way to assess whether or not students can apply the definition of a function to determine whether a relation is or is not a function. This card sort activity provides students practice classifying graphs, tables (both horizontal and vertical tables), ordered pairs, and mapping diagrams as either a function or not a function.
Evaluating Functions Spider Puzzles
This Evaluating Functions Spider Puzzle was the perfect practice activity for my Algebra 1 students. These spider puzzles are the creation of Andy Lutwyche, and they are a free download on TES. Andy has created spider puzzles for many other topics as well that are well worth checking out!
Starburst Scatterplot Activity
This starburst scatterplot activity ended up being one of my favorite activities of the year!
Building and Naming Polynomials Activity
This building and naming polynomials activity never disappoints. I have used it with students almost every single year since creating it.
Introducing Algebra Tiles to Students
We broke out the algebra tiles in Algebra 1 this week to learn how to multiply polynomials. My students had never seen algebra tiles, so first I had to teach them how they work. Read more to learn how I introduce algebra tiles to students.
Human Polynomials Activity
This human polynomials activity gets students up and moving in math class. It is a great way to keep students engaged while building their math vocabulary skills.
Multiplying Polynomials Egg Hunt Activity
Students are always super engaged when I do egg hunt activities with them. This multiplying polynomials egg hunt activity is no exception.
Acrobats Grandmas and Ivan Systems of Equations Task
This visual systems of equations task from Marilyn Burns is a true classic!
Graphing Linear Equations Activity with Transparencies
I love this graphing linear equations activity that uses transparencies. Students are given a coordinate plane template and a small strip of transparency paper with a straight line printed or drawn on it. Students have to use the transparent line to graph each of the following linear functions.
ZERO Game to Introduce Factoring Quadratics
Check out Shaun Carter’s ZERO game to help motivate students to why it might be useful to factor quadratics.
All Tied Up In Knots Systems of Equations Exploration Activity
I first experienced the All Tied Up in Knots activity for exploring systems of equations at a Common Core workshop I attended in the summer of 2013. I finally tried the activity in my classroom with my Algebra 2 students, and it was an awesome introduction to solving systems of equations.
Area Model Puzzles from Christie Bradshaw
These area model puzzles were a perfect introduction to the box method before we jumped into factoring using the box method!
Naming Polynomials Speed Dating Activity
This naming polynomials speed dating activity will get kids up and moving around the classroom and talking about math.
Mmm Exponent Task and Card Sort Activity
This lovely exponent task helps teachers assess if students really understand what exponents and coefficients mean.
Factoring Quadratics Practice Activity (When a = 1)
This matching activity is the perfect way to practice factoring monic quadratics (when a = 1).
Each side of the square shares a factor with each of its neighboring sides. Determine the missing values that make this statement true.
Factoring Puzzle for Quadratic Trinomials
I have been a fan of this factoring puzzle for factoring quadratic trinomials since I worked through it at a Common Core workshop I attended (OGAP) in the summer of 2013.
Quadratic Area Puzzles
I am really liking these quadratic area puzzles from Chritsopher (Bow Tie Teacher on twitter) that are posted for free on TES.
Area Model for Teaching Distributive Property and Factoring
NCTM Illuminations has an excellent PDF based resource on using the area model to teach both the distributive property and factoring out the greatest common factor. I used this resource frequently during the six years I taught Algebra 1.
Like Radicals Card Sort Activity
I created this like radicals card sort activity a few years ago when I was still teaching Algebra 1. Students are given 25 cards featuring radicals that range from square roots to fourth roots. Students must sort the cards into groups of like radicals.
X Puzzles Review Game
I love using X Puzzles to introduce factoring quadratics. These puzzles are also known as sum and product puzzles since the goal of the puzzle is to find the two numbers that have a given sum and product. Read this blog post to learn about how I turned them into a fun review game!
Slope Treasure Hunt Activity
When I taught Algebra 1, I ran across a fun slope treasure hunt activity for practicing the concept of slope (or gradient, for my international readers). My Algebra 1 students really enjoyed this slope treasure hunt. The activity is appropriate for middle school math as well.
Translating Algebra Around the Room Activity
I created this Translating Algebra Around the Room Activity to give my students extra practice translating expressions, equations, and inequalities. This activity is structured in such a way to emphasize that there is not one correct way but many ways to write a math problem in words.
Graphing Inequalities Dry Erase Work Mat
I created this graphing inequalities work mat when I taught Algebra 1 to help my students conceptualize what it actually meant to graph an inequality. So often, I have a tendency to just give my students a set of steps to follow without making sure they understand why we are following those steps.
Exponent Rules Review Game with ACT Questions and Distractors
I created this exponent rules review game in February of 2020. It exposes students to actual ACT questions from past released exams, and it gives students a chance to play the role of exam writer by crafting tricky distractors for each question.
Leveled Practice Cards Activity for Absolute Value Equations
I created these leveled practice cards for solving absolute value equations when I taught Algebra 1. There are three levels of problems so that students can start with problems of an appropriate difficulty level.
Finding Rate of Change from a Graph Hole Punch Activity
I created this hole punch activity to give my Algebra 1 students practice finding rate of change from a graph. When I teach Algebra 1, I intentionally avoid using the word slope for as long as possible.
Domain and Range Challenge Activity
I created this set of 20 domain and range challenges for my Algebra 1 students to work though as a review for our quiz over domain and range.
Order of Operations Question Stack Activity
I created this order of operations question stack activity to give my Algebra 1 students extra practice applying the order of operations to some rather involved expressions. These order of operations questions are specially designed to expose students to various grouping symbols including parentheses, brackets, absolute value bars, radicals, and fraction bars.
Tongue Twister Linear Regression Activity
I created this tongue twister linear regression activity for my algebra students to use while collecting tongue twister data in their small groups. Students work in groups to collect data regarding the amount of time it takes various numbers of people to recite a tongue twister.
Exponent Rules Match-Up Activity
I ran across this exponent rules match-up activity in the Algebra Activities Instructor’s Resource Binder from Maria Andersen. It was the perfect activity to review exponent rules with my students!
Candy Grab Lab for Linear Regression
This Candy Grab Lab is one of my favorite ways to introduce students to the process of linear regression.
Compound Inequalities Question Stack Activity
This Compound Inequalities Question Stack is a great self-checking activity to give your algebra students some much-needed practice with solving and graphing compound inequalities on a number line. I originally created this activity to use with my Algebra 1 students.