Activity 2

Activity Title: 

Graphing Your Tattoo

Unit Title: 

Tattoo Transformations

Estimated Duration: 

2 days




Graphing Your Tattoo worksheet

Graph paper

Patty paper

Colored pencils (optional)


Lakisha Edmondson


July 2015

Activity Objectives

Students will duplicate their patty paper designs on the coordinate plane.

Students will list the coordinates required to graph the design on the coordinate plane.

Students will identify transformation rules needed to perform the specified transformations on the design.

Guiding Questions
  1. How does one become tattoo artist?  What are the necessary steps?
  2. How could the image of a tattoo design be duplicated for application?
  3. How can I instruct an apprentice to accurately replicate a tattoo design?
  4. What rules can be used to transform a design on the coordinate plane?
Unit Academic Standards 


G-CO.2: Represent transformations in the plane using, e.g., transparencies and geometry software; describe transformations as functions that take points in the plane as inputs and give other points as outputs. Compare transformations that preserve distance and angle to those that do not (e.g., translation versus horizontal stretch).

G-CO.5:  Given a geometric figure and a rotation, reflection, or translation, draw the transformed figure using, e.g., graph paper, tracing paper, or geometry software. Specify a sequence of transformations that will carry a given figure onto another. 

Activity Procedures

Lesson 1, Activity 2:

Day 1:

I. Daily Warm-Up (Written on the board.  Students complete in their binders)

  1. Graph Triangle ABC on the provided graph paper. A(1,1), B(1,3), C(4,1)
  2. Classify the triangle as right, obtuse, or acute.  Justify answer.
  3. Graph Triangle AI BI CI by reflecting Triangle ABC across the y axis.
  4. Identify the coordinates of the image. AI (   ,   )  BI (   ,   )  CI (   ,   )
  5. Write the rule for this transformation.

II. Classwork: Graphing Your Tattoo worksheet—Part One

Place students in groups A – F (composed of 4-5 students per group). Each student will get a numbered card (1-5). Pass out the worksheet and graph paper.  For Part One, students will work independently on the assignment, but are grouped as “master” tattoo artists who are designing a tattoo for their apprentice to duplicate.  (Note:  In Part Two of the assignment, students will become the apprentice for a student from another group with the same number).  They may discuss their ideas and designs, but may not have the same tattoo design.  As students are working, circulate to make sure students are on task and assist as needed.  One issue that may need to be addressed is how to make “curves” in the design by the strategic placing of points on the coordinate plane to approximate a curve.

III. Homework

Assign assorted exercises from the textbook for students to practice transformations.  Also, if students need more time to complete Part One of the worksheet, they can at home.

Day 2:             

I. Daily Warm-Up (Written on the board.  Students complete in their binders)

  1. Graph Segment JK at J (-1,-1) K (-3,-2)
  2. Translate JK 4 units up, 3 units left.  Identify JI (   ,   ) KI (   ,   )
  3. Reflect JK over the x axis.  Identify JI (   ,   ) KI (   ,   )
  4. Rotate JK 90about the origin.  Identify JI (   ,   ) KI (   ,   )
  5. Did any of these transformations result in a change in size or shape?

II. Classwork: Graphing Your Tattoo worksheet—Part Two

Students will now play the role of the apprentice.  Students work in groups with the other apprentices to complete the task.  (Students will apprentice for someone with the same number from a different group.  For example, Student #1 in Group A will apprentice with Student #1 in Group B, and so on.)  Students will have to follow the master tattoo artist’s instructions to duplicate the tattoo design.  They will not be able to see the design beforehand; therefore, the instructions must be accurate.  Once the apprentice is finished, the design will be compared to the master’s original design.  If inaccurate, the master must edit his/her instructions or inform the apprentice of any errors in graphing.

III. Homework:

Students may continue to edit or refine their instructions, if necessary.

Formative Assessments

Graphing Your Tattoo worksheet

Warm-up problems


If students have trouble with the transformation rules for the design, instruct them to transform a single point or line segment to determine the appropriate rule.

Students may use patty paper to trace axes and the image, then move the patty paper to perform the transformation before actually plotting it.

Mirrors can be used to show what reflections across various lines would look like.

If available, the use of geometry graphics software could help students explore movement in the coordinate plane.