Monday, April 25, 2016

The Line Game - Linear Graph Review

Educational Objective:
Review linear equations:  slope, intercepts, equations, graphs, and solution ordered pairs

I created this game a few years ago to help my students review linear equations.  The students were doing fine with the topics when it was presented one at a time, but this game requires them to use all those topics at once.  I remember one students saying, "I have never worked this hard in a math class!"
For the game, you will present the students will one graphed line at a time, they are required to match 5 attributes to that line as quickly and accurately as they can.  To do this, the cards with the attributes are dealt to the teams randomly.  The first team to identify a matching card will be rewarded with 5 points, the next correct team will receive 4 points, etc.  until all 5 cards are matched.
If a team incorrectly identifies a card, they will lose 2 points from their score.  Likewise, if a team has a matching card and doesn't recognize it, they will lose 2 points.
After all 10 lines have been displayed, the team with the highest score is the winner.

Before Class:
Print and laminate the 50 game cards.  Click here for the cards.

Print a copy of the answer key.  Click here for the answer key.  The answer key is the third page of that document.  I laminated my copy of the answer key and use a dry erase marker to keep track of what cards have been matched during the game.  

Beginning of Class:
Divide your class into five (5) teams and give each team ten (10) random game cards.  Instruct them to look over the cards.  Make sure each team member can see all the cards and the images being displayed.  

Project the title screen of the presentation.  Click here for the presentation.  

Game Play:

Display the first line and remind the students that there are five cards out there that match the graphed line (slope and y-int, slope and point, equation, two ordered pairs, intercepts).  Once a team believes they have a match, they tell you the code on the bottom of the card.

The first correct team is awarded 5 points
The second correct team is awarded 4 points
The third correct team is awarded 3 points
The fourth correct team is awarded 2 points
The fifth correct team is awarded 1 point

If a team is incorrect, their score is reduced by 2.
If a team has a matching card, but doesn't recognize it, their score is reduced by 2.

Note - In order to avoid having teams with negative scores, you might want to start each team with a certain amount of points.  Perhaps each team could start with 10 points.

Make the students aware that since the cards were distributed randomly, a team may have more than one matching card on a line, or even no cards that match a particular line.

After each line, instruct the students that those five cards will not match anymore lines and they can set them to the side.  After each line, I like to go over any incorrect matches that the students made (not that they listen, but I try).

Tips and Tricks:

  • I do not let the students know that there are 10 lines.  I tell them that there are 11, that way once we reach the 10th line they will still look to see if cards match rather than automatically calling out the codes.  This only works the first time we play the game.
  • Make sure all students can see the projection.
  • Make sure all team members agree on a card before checking your answer key.

Rules and Game Play Video:
I apologize for the volume of this video.  I had to turn my speaker all the way up to hear it and I will invest in a microphone in the future :)


  1. This looks awesome! I can't wait to try it out. It seems really simple in terms of rules, but complex in terms of thinking. Also could easily be applied to exponential, quadratic, etc. Lloms like a very valuable practice structure for students.

    1. I have games made for parabolas and sine functions. I'll be writing about those soon.

  2. Just used this today as a review, what a great game! Thanks!

  3. Awesome idea as always, Nora! Will be using this with my year 11s on Monday.
    I have taken the liberty of rewriting the game cards in Google docs so the formatting is a bit more mathsy and I've changed the b's to c's (Here in the UK we say mx + b) if anyone is interested in using my (very slightly) modified version you can find it here: