Today students match graphs of 16 sinusoidal functions with their equations.
Prep: Print and cut out the graph and equation cards so that each group has one set. We suggest printing the graphs on one color cardstock and the equations on another. Hand out the recording sheets for students to keep track of their matches. You can have each student fill out their own sheet or have one recording sheet per group. We recommend having students complete the card sort in groups of 3-4.
Play: Card sorts are very easy to facilitate and garner great discussion! Simply give each group a set of cards and send them off to work. Each group will need quite a bit of space, so we recommend letting them work on the floor or at a pod of desks.
Be aware that some (all!) of the graphs have multiple possible equations and the given equation may not always be the most straightforward one. For example, students should be able to identify very easily that graph O is the sine function, but the parent sine function is not one of the given equations! Students must recognize this graph could also be produced by shifting the cosine function left 3π/2 units (Card 9).
Prepare for this activity to take at least 25 minutes. While some of the graphs are easy to match, there are several that require a detailed eye. The parameters chosen for each equation are purposefully similar!
You can post the answer key for when students are done, but we usually prefer to have groups call us over so we can have a discussion and ask some questions and give feedback.