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topic A
6 hours

Coordinate Systems


In Topic A, students revisit a Grade 3 activity in which lined paper is used to subdivide a length into n equal parts. In Grade 5, this activity is extended as students explore that any line, regardless of orientation, can be made into a number line by first locating zero, choosing a unit length, and partitioning the length-unit into fractional lengths. Students are introduced to the concept of a coordinate as describing the distance of a point on the line from zero.

As they construct these number lines in various orientations on a plane, students explore ways to describe the position of points not located on the lines. This discussion leads to the discovery that a second number line, perpendicular to the first, creates an efficient, precise way to describe the location of these points.


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From of the New York State Education Department. Grade 5 Mathematics Module 6, Topic A Overview. Available from; accessed 2015-05-29.
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