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Graphs and Coordinate Geometry Curriculum

A List of Lessons in the Graphs and Coordinate Geometry Curriculum

homesitemapgraphs and coordinate geometry

What Is a Graph?

A graph is a diagram that allows us to draw points, lines, curves and other shapes. A graph uses a pair of axes at right angles to each other: one horizontal and one vertical. We measure how far across each point on the graph is using the horizontal x-axis. We measure how far up each point on the graph is using the vertical y-axis.

Dictionary Definition

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a graph as "a diagram (such as a series of one or more points, lines, line segments, curves, or areas)."
A graph is shown below:

graphs and coordinate geometry graph

What Is Coordinate Geometry?

Coordinates are used to describe the position of a point on the graph.

graphs and coordinate geometry coordinate geometry
  • The x-coordinate measures how far across the point is (in the horizontal direction) along the x-axis. In general, if the point is x units along the x-axis, its x-coordinate is x.
  • The y-coordinate measures how far up the point is (in the vertical direction) up the y-axis. In general, if the point is y units up the y-axis, its y-coordinate is y.
Each point can be written as a pair of coordinates:

graphs and coordinate geometry_(x,y) The x-coordinate (x) and the y-coordinate (y) are then written in brackets, separated by a comma. The x-coordinate is on the left, the y-coordinate is on the right. The coordinates can be used to describe points on lines, curves and shapes. This is coordinate geometry. Here are some examples from coordinate geometry. We might be interested in the distance between two points. We might want be interested in how a shape is moved. Coordinate geometry allows us to do this.

graphs and coordinate geometry examples

The Curriculum

The lessons are grouped into mini-curriculum to help you organise your learning. A brief description is given for each mini-curriculum. Click the MORE button to learn more.

Graphs

graphs and coordinate geometry graphs

A graph is a diagram that allows us to draw points, lines, curves and other shapes. A graph uses a pair of axes at right angles to each other: one horizontal and one vertical. In this mini-curriculum, you will learn about the parts of a graph.

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Parts of a Graph
The parts of a graph are the two axes (the horizontal x-axis and the vertical y-axis) that meet at right angles at the origin.
graphs and coordinate geometry parts of a graph

X-Axis
The x-axis is the horizontal axis on a graph.
graphs and coordinate geometry x-axis

Y-Axis
The y-axis is the vertical axis on a graph.
graphs and coordinate geometry y-axis

Origin
The origin is where the x-axis and y-axis meet on a graph.
graphs and coordinate geometry origin

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the parts of a graph
the x-axis
the y-axis
the origin

Cartesian Coordinates

graphs and coordinate geometry about cartesian coordinates

Cartesian coordinates are used to describe the position of a point on a graph. In this mini-curriculum, you will learn about Cartesian coordinates and how they are used to describe and draw points.

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Cartesian Coordinates
Cartesian coordinates are used to describe the position of a point on a graph.
graphs and coordinate geometry cartesian coordinates

X-Coordinate
The x-coordinate is the first number in the pair of numbers used to describe Cartesian coordinates. It tells you how far across the horizontal x-axis a point is on a graph.
graphs and coordinate geometry x-coordinate

Y-Coordinate
The y-coordinate is the second number in the pair of numbers used to describe Cartesian coordinates. It tells you how far up (or down) the vertical y-axis a point is on a graph.
graphs and coordinate geometry y-coordinate

Draw a Point from Cartesian Coordinates
To draw a point from Cartesian coordinates, use the x-coordinate to measure how far across the x-axis the point is and use the y-coordinate to measure how up (or down) the y-axis the point is.
graphs and coordinate geometry cartesian coordinates draw point

Read Off a Point from Cartesian Coordinates
To read off a point from Cartesian coordinates, measure how far across the x-axis the point is to find the x-coordinate and measure how up (or down) the y-axis the point is to find the y-coordinate.
graphs and coordinate geometry cartesian coordinates read off

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Cartesian coordinates
the x-coordinate
the y-coordinate
how to draw a point from Cartesian coordinates
how to read off a point from Cartesian coordinates

Polar Coordinates

graphs and coordinate geometry about polar coordinates

Polar coordinates are another coordinate system. They are used to describe the position of a point on a graph. In this mini-curriculum, you will learn about polar coordinates.

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Polar Coordinates
Polar coordinates are used to describe the position of a point on a graph.
Polar coordinates work by measuring how far the point is from a reference point (called the pole) and what angle it is from a reference direction (called the polar axis).
graphs and coordinate geometry polar coordinates

Radial Coordinate
The radial coordinate is the first number in the pair of numbers used to describe polar coordinates. It tells you how far a point is from the pole.
graphs and coordinate geometry radial coordinate

Angular Coordinate
The angular coordinate is the second number in the pair of numbers used to describe polar coordinates. It tells you what angle the point is (in the counter-clockwise direction) from the polar axis.
graphs and coordinate geometry angular coordinate

Draw a Point from Polar Coordinates
To draw a point from polar coordinates, use the radial coordinate to measure how far the point is from the pole and use the angular coordinate to find what angle the point is (in the counter-clockwise direction) from the polar axis.
graphs and coordinate geometry polar coordinates draw point

Read Off a Point from Polar Coordinates
To read off a point from polar coordinates, measure how far across the point is from the pole to find the radial coordinate and find what angle the point is (in the counter-clockwise direction) from the polar axis to find the angular coordinate.
graphs and coordinate geometry polar coordinates read off

Convert Cartesian to Polar Coordinates
Cartesian coordinates can be converted to polar coordinates.
graphs and coordinate geometry convert cartesian to polar coordinates

Convert Polar to Cartesian Coordinates
Polar coordinates can be converted to Cartesian coordinates.
graphs and coordinate geometry convert polar to cartesian coordinates

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polar coordinates
the radial coordinate
the angular coordinate
how to draw a point from polar coordinates
how to read off a point from polar coordinates
how to convert Cartesian to polar coordinates
how to convert polar to Cartesian coordinates

Coordinate Geometry of Points and Lines

graphs and coordinate geometry points and lines

Coordinate geometry can be used for points and lines that join any two points. In this mini-curriculum, you will learn about finding the distance and slope between two points and finding the midpoint between two points.

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Distance Between Points
The distance between two points, where (x1, y1) and (x2, y2) are the Cartesian coordinates of the points, is:
graphs and coordinate geometry distance between points

Slope Between Points
The slope between two points, where (x1, y1) and (x2, y2) are the Cartesian coordinates of the points, is:
graphs and coordinate geometry slope between points

Find the Midpoint
The midpoint of two points, where (x1, y1) and (x2, y2) are the Cartesian coordinates of the points, is:
graphs and coordinate geometry midpoint

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how to find the distance between two points
how to find the slope between two points
how to find the midpoint

Transformations in Coordinate Geometry

graphs and coordinate geometry transformations

A transformation is a change of a shape. It can change a shape's position, orientation and its size. Cartesian coordinates can be used to transform a shape. In this mini-curriculum, you will learn about how to use coordinate geometry to move and flip shapes.

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Translate a Shape
A translation moves a shape.
To translate a shape using coordinate geometry, change the x-coordinate of each point by how far you move the shape horizontally and change the y-coordinate of each point by how far you move the shape vertically.
graphs and coordinate geometry translate

Reflect a Shape in X-Axis
A reflection is a flip of a shape about a line (called the line of reflection).
To reflect a shape in the x-axis using coordinate geometry, the x-coordinate stays the same, but the y-coordinate changes sign (becomes negative if it is positive and vice versa).
graphs and coordinate geometry reflect x-axis

Reflect a Shape in Y-Axis
A reflection is a flip of a shape about a line (called the line of reflection).
To reflect a shape in the y-axis using coordinate geometry, the y-coordinate stays the same, but the x-coordinate changes sign (becomes negative if it is positive and vice versa).
graphs and coordinate geometry reflect y-axis

Reflect a Shape in y = x
A reflection is a flip of a shape about a line (called the line of reflection).
To reflect a shape in the line y = x using coordinate geometry, the x-coordinate becomes the y-coordinate and the y-coordinate becomes the x-coordinate.
graphs and coordinate geometry reflect y=x

Reflect a Shape in y = −x
A reflection is a flip of a shape about a line (called the line of reflection).
To reflect a shape in the line y = −x using coordinate geometry

- both coordinates change sign (the coordinate becomes negative if it is positive and vice versa)
- the x-coordinate becomes the y-coordinate and the y-coordinate becomes the x-coordinate

graphs and coordinate geometry reflect y=-x

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how to translate a shape using coordinate geometry
how to reflect a shape in the x-axis using coordinate geometry
how to reflect a shape in the y-axis using coordinate geometry
how to reflect a shape in the line y = x using coordinate geometry
how to reflect a shape in the line y = −x using coordinate geometry

Equation of a Circle

graphs and coordinate geometry about equation of a circle

A circle can be represented with an equation. The Cartesian coordinates of the points on the circle satisfy this equation. In this mini-curriculum, you will learn about the equation of a circle.

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Basic Equation of Circle
The basic equation of a circle where (x, y) are the Cartesian coordinates of the points on the circle and r is the radius is:
graphs and coordinate geometry basic equation of a circle

Equation of Circle
The equation of a circle where (x, y) are the Cartesian coordinates of the points on the circle, (a, b) are the Cartesian coordinates of the center of the circle and r is the radius is:
graphs and coordinate geometry equation of a circle

Find Center and Radius from Equation of Circle
The center and radius of a circle can be found from the equation of a circle.
graphs and coordinate geometry find center and radius from equation of circle

Equation of Circle in General Form
The equation of a circle in general form where (x, y) are the Cartesian coordinates of the points on the circle is:
graphs and coordinate geometry equation of a circle general form

Convert General to Standard Form
A circle in general form can be converted to standard form.
graphs and coordinate geometry convert general to standard form

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the basic equation of a circle
the equation of a circle
how to find the center and radius from the equation of a circle
the equation of a circle in general form
how to convert an equation of a circle from general to standard form

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This page was written by Stephen Clarke.

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