Blind Mapping the Garden on a Coordinate Plane

Part of the "Mapping the Garden" Collection


Students will use coordinate planes to map their garden.

Estimated Time

45 minutes

Setting Required



  • CCSS.M.5.G.1. Students will use axes to define a coordinate system. Understand (x,y) convention.
  • CCSS.M.5.G.2. Students will represent real world and math problems by graphing points in a coordinate plane and interpreting coordinate values of points.


  • Post-it notes or painters tape
  • Blank coordinate planes (1 per student)
  • Coloring supplies (enough for each student)
  • Clipboards (1 per every 2 students)


  1. Before students arrive, set up the coordinate plane on the raised beds. (Raised beds work best because of straight edges meeting at a right angle but the coordinate plane can also be setup anywhere in the schoolyard and on any scale). Choose the bottom left corner of a raised bed to serve as the intersection of x and y axes. Along the bottom and the left edge of the raised bed (the x and y axis), mark with post it notes or painters tape increasing numbers (regularly spaced from the 0,0 point). If possible, prepare several beds this way, so pairs of students can play at various locations in the garden.
  2. Divide students into small groups and arrange around each garden bed. Half of the small group (the “drawers”) will sit at the “top” of the bed (with 0, 0 being the bottom left corner) facing away from the garden bed and they will be provided with a blank coordinate plane, a clipboard, and coloring supplies. The other half of the small group (the “describers”) can stand at the bottom of the bed facing the bed.
  3. Instruct the “describers” to use ordered pairs on the coordinate plane to describe the placement of different plants or objects in the raised bed to the “drawers.” For example, “There is a tomato plant growing at point 4, 6. There is a weed with little yellow flowers growing a point 1, 5.”
  4. When the “describers” have described the placement of each plant, the “drawers” can ask clarifying questions using the ordered pairs on the coordinate plane. For example, “Is there anything growing at point 3, 2?”
  5. When the are done, the “drawers” can turn around and compare the gardens they drew on their coordinate plane to the actual garden to see how accurately they were able to depict the placement of the plants.
  6. Finally, the groups can switch garden beds and switch roles.