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I created this Sketch a Graph Activity to give my Algebra 2 students much-needed practice with the vocabulary we use to describe the key features of functions.

This activity was based off of a problem in Pearson’s (now Savvas) Algebra 2 textbook. Even though the alignment of the textbook to the Oklahoma standards has left much to be desired, I have run across a few great tasks in the book. This activity was created from a problem in the first section of the book (1.1 Key Features of Functions.)

The original problem states: “Sketch a graph given the following key features.” It then goes on to specify a domain, range, increasing and decreasing intervals, x-intercepts, y-intercept, and positive nad negative intervals.

I decided that giving this problem to my students like it was written would likely overwhelm them. We were still struggling with remembering the difference between increasing/decreasing and positive/negative. The first section of the book had thrown a lot of new vocabulary at them, and I was trying to help them process it.

So, I typed up each of the 8 key features in the problem and made them into cards which I laminated.

Then, I gave each group a copy of my Key Features of Functions Dry Erase Work Mat in an 11 x 17 dry erase pocket.

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I cannot imagine teaching math without my dry erase pockets! They instantly make any activity more engaging and save me countless hours at the copy machine since I can use the same class sets of copies year after year.

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If you are looking to save a bit of money, you can also pick up a package of 11 x 17 sheet protectors for a much cheaper price! They won’t be quite as durable, but students can still write and erase with their dry erase markers.

Then, I gave each group 1 card. I printed the decks in different colors so I could tell each group’s cards apart. I randomly shuffled the cards and gave one to each group.

The group had to work together to sketch a graph that met the description on the card. When the group was happy with their graph, they called me over to check their work. If it was correct, I gave them a second card from their colored deck. Now, they had to modify their graph so that it met the requirements of BOTH CARDS.

This allowed me to see exactly which vocabulary terms were giving my students trouble. I was able to make sure that they really understood what positive/negative meant before I gave them another requirement regarding increasing/decreasing.

Since each group had their own random subset of cards, they couldn’t copy off one another.

This turned out to be a really fun activity, and I was really pleased with how I was able to modify a single problem from the textbook’s homework section to be a great group activity that got students thinking and talking about math.

It opened my eyes to some of my students misconceptions/misunderstandings regarding functions. For example, I lost count of how many times students presented me a graph to check that wasn’t even a function.

## Free Download of Sketch a Graph Cards

Sketch a Graph Cards (PDF) (1341 downloads)

Sketch a Graph Cards (Editable Publisher File ZIP) (736 downloads)

## More Activities for Teaching Domain and Range

- Set and Interval Notation Dry Erase Template
- Build a Function Activity
- Domain and Range Challenge Activity
- Sketch a Graph Activity
- Inequality and Interval Notation Chart
- Key Features of Functions Work Mat
- Find the Flubs Activity – Set and Interval Notation
- Domain and Range Restrictions Foldable
- Domain and Range Foldables
- Domain and Range Graphic Organizer DIXI ROYD
- Domain and Range Foldables (DIXI ROYD)
- Algebra 2 Domain and Range Foldable
- Drawing Boxes for Domain and Range
- Domain and Range Graphic Organizer
- Interactive Domain and Range Foldable
- DIX ROY Acronym for Domain and Range
- Domain and Range Pictionary Activity
- Notation for Domain and Range Foldable

## More Activities for Teaching Key Features of Functions

- Sketch a Graph Activity
- Key Features of Functions Work Mat
- Roots Solutions Zeros X-Intercepts Posters
- Increasing and Decreasing Intervals Foldable
- Finding the Max or Min of a Graph [TI-84 Instructions]
- Finding Maximums and Minimums Practice Book
- Finding Intercepts with the Calculator Practice Book
- Finding X-intercepts of a Graph [TI-84 Instructions]
- Finding the Y-intercept of a Graph [TI-84 Instructions]
- Graphing and Describing Functions Worksheet
- Describing Characteristics of Graphs Foldable
- Characteristics of Graphs & Functions Foldable

Sarah Lockhart

Friday 6th of August 2021

This looks like a great activity. I am trying to open the downloads and they each only contain one set of key features. It seems like there is meant to be more, am I doing something wrong? Thank you.

Sarah Carter

Thursday 2nd of September 2021

As of right now, the activity only includes one set of key features since I based it off of a textbook problem. You could definitely create more of your own. I have not done so yet.

Sorry for the confusion!

Thomas Powell

Wednesday 9th of June 2021

This is a great and simple activity. Thanks for sharing

Amanda Avila

Tuesday 8th of June 2021

Thank you for this activity! I was just planning our final unit where students need to graph polynomial functions!