Lesson plan

Lesson 6: Describing Transformations

teaches Alabama State Standards 8-23.
teaches Arizona State Standards 8.G.A.3
teaches Arizona State Standards 8.G.A.1
teaches Common Core State Standards MP1 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP1
teaches Common Core State Standards MP3 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP3
teaches Common Core State Standards MP6 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP6
teaches Common Core State Standards 8.G.A.1 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/8/G/A/1
teaches Common Core State Standards 8.G.A.3 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/8/G/A/3
teaches Colorado State Standards 8.G.A.3.
teaches Colorado State Standards 8.G.A.1.
teaches Georgia State Standards MGSE8.G.3.
teaches Georgia State Standards MGSE8.G.1.
teaches Minnesota State Standards
teaches New York State Standards NY-8.G.3.
teaches New York State Standards NY-8.G.1.
teaches Ohio State Standards 8.G.3.
teaches Ohio State Standards 8.G.1.
teaches Pennsylvania State Standards CC.2.3.8.A.2.

Lesson 6: Describing Transformations

Prior to this lesson, students have studied and classified different types of transformations (translations, rotations, reflections). They have practiced applying individual transformations and sequences of transformations to figures both on and off of a coordinate grid. In this lesson, they focus on communicating precisely the information needed to apply a sequence of transformations to a polygon on the coordinate grid. They must think carefully about what information they need (MP1) and request this information from their partner in a clear, precise way. They also explain why they need each piece of information (MP3). The coordinate grid plays a key role in this work, allowing students to communicate precisely about the locations of polygons and how they are transformed.

Lesson overview

  • 6.1 Warm-up: Finding a Center of Rotation (5 minutes)
  • 6.2 Activity: Info Gap: Transformation Information (30 minutes)
    • Includes "Are you Ready for More?" extension problem
  • Lesson Synthesis
  • 6.3 Cool-down: Describing a Sequence of Transformations (5 minutes)

Learning goals:

  • Create a drawing on a coordinate grid of a transformed object using verbal descriptions.
  • Identify what information is needed to transform a polygon. Ask questions to elicit that information.

Learning goals (student facing):

  • Let’s transform some polygons in the coordinate plane.

Learning targets (student facing):

  • I can apply transformations to a polygon on a grid if I know the coordinates of its vertices.

Required materials:

  • pre-printed slips, cut from copies of the blackline master
  • geometry toolkits

Required preparation:

  • Print 1 copy of the blackline master for every 2 students.
  • Cut them up ahead of time.
  • From the geometry toolkits, graph paper and tracing paper are especially helpful.


  • Access the complete Grade 8 glossary.






IM 6–8 Math was originally developed by Open Up Resources and authored by Illustrative Mathematics, and is copyright 2017-2019 by Open Up Resources. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0). OUR's 6–8 Math Curriculum is available at https://openupresources.org/math-curriculum/.

Adaptations and updates to IM 6–8 Math are copyright 2019 by Illustrative Mathematics, and are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).

Adaptations to add additional English language learner supports are copyright 2019 by Open Up Resources, and are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).

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