A twitter friend, Barbara, asked me to share an engaging activity for teaching linear transformations.

Who am I to say no?

Alas, I had no resources for that. And it usually takes me less time to create an activity than it does for me to google and find one.

So I did.

### An Engaging Activity to Introduce Function Transformations

Here are the basic steps:

1**. Cut a “highly non-symmetric” shape out of construction paper.**

You want it really freaky so they don’t get the transformations mixed up.

**2. Decorate both sides of the shape.**

Decorate your shape on the front and back with different things – like stripes on one side and polka-dots on the other.

This helps students see what’s going on when you do flips.

**3. Create a coordinate plane that “matches” the freaky shape. **

Use an edge of your shape to be the length of a single unit. It’s just nice.

**4. Copy and give to students. **

Or have them do the above steps on their own.

**5. Ask students to choose “handles” on the shape. **

These make the transforming of this thing manageable.

When transforming $latex f(x)=x^2$, it’s nice to hold onto $latex (0,0)$ and $latex (1,1)$. And when you get to freaky stuff like $latex f(x)=e^x$, holding onto $latex (0,1)$ and $latex (1, e)$ is vital!

**6. Go crazy!**

Give them instructions – either verbally or on paper. Here are some to start with:

- Move your shape right 2 units.
- Move your shape left 1 unit and up 3 units.
- Move your shape left 1 unit and then flip it over the y-axis.

**7. Let us know how it goes!**

Barbara used this activity. And here’s what she said while grading the quizes:

@mathfour Ss rocking quizzes!!! Test Friday!

— ⒷⒶⓇⒷⒶⓇⒶ (@barbarawmadden) April 10, 2013

And now it’s your turn! Share in the comments and on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

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I am very pleased with my students’ work in this unit. Thank you, Bon, for your prompt assistance via Twitter. 🙂