Pattern Block Coordinates

Lesson by Wendy Bain, Peter Smith, and Dawn Cohen (educators from Montcrest School)

Curriculum 

Geometry and Spatial Sense

For students to explain how a coordinate system represents location, and plot points in the Cartesian coordinate plane.

Number Sense and Numeration

For students to represent, compare, and order decimals and fractions

Context

This game can be played in groups of 3 as a barrier game.

Materials

  • Set of pattern blocks per player
  • 1 game board per player (Appendix A)
    • 2 choices depending on grade level: game board with first quadrant only or all four quadrants
    • The grid of the game board does not match the size of the pattern blocks 

For appendix, download the lesson plan here.

Figure 1

Lesson

  • Player 1 (Hider) is grouped with two Player 2s (Guessers). 
  • Player 1 secretly places different pattern blocks on his/her/their game board. The two Player 2s know which shapes have been used, but not where they have been placed (figure 1). 
  • The two Player 2s use rational numbers (whole numbers, decimals, and fractions) to guess the location of the vertices of the pattern blocks or any point on the coordinate grid that is covered by the pattern block with the goal of ultimately determining the exact location of the shapes. If it’s a miss, Player 2 marks with a black pen, and if it’s a hit, Player 2 marks with a red pen (figure 2).
Figure 2