Drawing a Point from Cartesian Coordinates
(KS2, Year 6)

The Lesson

A point can be drawn on a graph. The Cartesian coordinates of the point tell us where to draw the point on the graph. Imagine you wanted to draw a point with Cartesian coordinates (2, 4).

How to Draw a Point from Cartesian Coordinates

Drawing a point from Cartesian coordinates is easy. Cartesian coordinates have 2 numbers.

  • The number on the left (2) is called the x-coordinate. It tells you how far across the point is (in the horizontal direction) by measuring how far along the x-axis it is.
  • The number on the right (4) is called the y-coordinate. It tells you how far up the point is (in the vertical direction) by measuring how far up the y-axis it is.

Question

Draw the point with Cartesian coordinates (2, 4) on a graph.

Step-by-Step:

1

Start with a graph.

Don't forget: A graph has a pair of axes: the horizontal axis is called the x-axis and the vertical axis is called the y-axis. They meet at the origin.

2

Find the first number in the Cartesian coordinates (called the x-coordinate). In our example, the x-coordinate is 2.
(2, 4)

3

Starting from the origin, count along the x-axis until you find the x-coordinate found in Step 2 (2).

4

Find the second number in the Cartesian coordinates (called the y-coordinate). In our example, the y-coordinate is 4.
(2, 4)

5

Count up the y-axis until you find the y-coordinate found in Step 4 (4).

6

Draw the point here.

Answer:

Lesson Slides

With practice, you'll be able to draw a point from Cartesian coordinates by eye. The slider below gives another example of how to draw a point on a graph from the point's Cartesian coordinates. Open the slider in a new tab

Beware

Positive and Negative Coordinates

The pair of numbers in Cartesian coordinates the can be positive and negative.
  • The x-axis is labelled with positive numbers to the right of the y-axis and negative numbers to the left.
  • The y-axis is labelled with positive numbers above the y-axis and negative numbers below.
This means if the x-coordinate is:
  • positive, it describes a point to the right of the y-axis.
  • negative, it describes a point to the left of the y-axis.
If the y-coordinate is:
  • positive, it describes a point above the x-axis.
  • negative, it describes a point below the x-axis.
Putting this together, we can see that there are four quadrants made by the two axes.

Look at the sign of each coordinate to decide which quadrant it belongs in.
Help Us To Improve Mathematics Monster

  • Do you disagree with something on this page?
  • Did you spot a typo?
Please tell us using this form

See Also

What are the parts of a graph? What is the x-axis? What is the y-axis? What is the origin?