Activity 5

Activity Title: 

Using Excel to Transform Your Tattoo

Unit Title: 

Tattoo Transformations

Estimated Duration: 

2 Days





Using Excel to Transform Your Tattoo worksheet

Teacher Advance Preparation:

Make sure all laptops have a working Excel program.


Lakisha Edmondson


July 2015

Activity Objectives

Students will write and use transformation rules to perform transformations on figures.

Students will use Excel to create a spreadsheet embedded with formulas that will provide the correct coordinates needed to perform specific transformations.

Guiding Questions
  1. What transformation rules are needed to perform translations, reflections, rotations, and/or dilations on figures in the coordinate plane?  How are they written using notation?
  2. How can Excel be used to make our task easier?
  3. What formulas can be embedded in the spreadsheet to perform the necessary transformations on our tattoo designs?
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 2, Activity 5

Days 1 & 2:

I. Warm-up (Written on board.  Students follow along on their laptops).

Let’s set up some key items in our spreadsheet together:

1. Name the file (Excel Tattoo Transformations)

2. Name Sheet 1 (1st transf)

3. Name Sheet 2 (2nd transf)

4. Title Column A (x)

4. Title Column B (y)

5. Save the file to your thumb drive or desktop

II. Classwork:

Hand out the Using Excel to Transform Your Tattoo worksheet.  Students will work in their master artist groups to complete the task.  Although students will be using their own design coordinates, they will be grouped according to the transformations they have been assigned.  Therefore, they will communicate and collaborate with each other to create their spreadsheets, which will be embedded with mathematical formulas to perform the transformations.


If entering all of the coordinates of the tattoo design is overwhelming for students, decreasing the requirement to the first ten coordinates is an option.

Students may compare their formulas with a neighbor before actually typing them in the spreadsheet.