Activity 1

Activity Title: 

Design Your Tattoo

Unit Title: 

Tattoo Transformations

Estimated Duration: 

2 Days




Design Your Tattoo Worksheet

Patty Paper


Colored pencils (optional)

Teacher Advance Preparation:

Make sure laptops are available for student use


Lakisha Edmondson


July 2015

Activity Objectives

Students will research the topic of tattoos—the history, types of tattoos, the shift in acceptance, the enormous popularity and mainstream appeal, the career opportunities and business of tattooing, the artistry of tattoo design, and other relevant topics.

Students will generate essential questions from the BIG IDEA and formulate guiding questions relating to the challenge.

Students will create a tattoo design on patty paper.

Guiding Questions
  1. Is tattooing relevant in society today?  How so?
  2. What are some potential risks or safety concerns involved in getting a tattoo?
  3. How profitable is the tattoo industry/What financial impact does it have on the economy?  Is being a tattoo artist a viable career?
  4. What process does a person have to follow in order to become a tattoo artist?
  5. How can we get an “apprentice” to duplicate our tattoo design on the coordinate plane?
  6. What are some reasons why a given tattoo design may need to be transformed in some way?
Unit Academic Standards 

CCSS:  G-CO.2: Represent transformations in the plane.

Activity Procedures

Lesson 1, Day 1:

Key Vocabulary: Transformation, Pre-image, Image, Translation, Reflection, Rotation, Dilation

Transformation- the movement of a figure from its original position (pre-image) to a new position (image); a RIGID transformation preserves size and shape

Pre-image- the original figure that undergoes a transformation

Image- the resulting figure after a transformation

Translation- (slide) transformation in which the figure moves horizontally/vertically

Reflection- (flip) transformation that results in the mirror image of the figure

Rotation- (turn) transformation in which every point in the pre-image is rotated by a given angle about a point

Dilation- transformation that results in the reduction or enlargement of the pre-image

I. Warm- Up (The Hook): Students will respond to the following questions in their math binders.

  1. Do you have any tattoos?   If so, how many?
  2. How many people do you know with tattoos?
  3. Why do you think people get tattoos?
  4. How does society view people who have tattoos?
  5. How many tattoos do you think Ms. Edmondson has? 

II. Class Discussion:  After discussing the warm-up answers, ask students what they think the BIG IDEA is for this unit.  Write the BIG IDEA on the board—The Business and Artistry of Tattoo Design.

Handout the Design Your Tattoo worksheet (Part One).  Break students into groups of 3 or 4.  Students will answer the questions independently, then share within the group.  Groups will share answers during the whole class discussion.

III. Classwork/Homework: Topic Research

Students will research tattoos.  Possible topics of interest could be suggested --the history of tattooing, the artistry of tattoo design and types of tattoo designs, the percentage of the population that has tattoos, the different reasons why people choose to get tattoos, the shift in societal acceptance of tattoos, the enormous popularity and mainstream appeal of tattoos, tattoo artistry as a career, the impact of the tattoo industry on the economy, and other relevant topics.

Lesson One, Day 2:

I. Warm-up

Upon entering the room, students are given post-it notes.  Some of the research topics from yesterday are written on the board.  Students will write at least two things that they found during their research and stick it under the correct category on the board.  A brief discussion of the findings will follow.

II. Classwork: Design Your Tattoo

After discussing the different reasons why people get tattoos—for attention, self-expression, artistic freedom, rebellion, to tell a story visually, for a symbol of spiritual/cultural expression, as a memorial to remember or honor some person or event, to identify with a group, drunken impulsiveness, etc.; Students will create their own original tattoo design on patty paper.  Encourage students to design MEANINGFUL tattoos.  The design must be graphed on the coordinate plane in the next activity.

III. Homework:

Students should finish their designs if needed.  Assign a picture graphing activity as practice for the next activity.


Students may need to trace a design that already exists, instead of drawing their own.

Students may collaborate and compare notes with a partner during the research session.