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Getting started

Learning focus

Locate and reference coordinate cells in a table.

ICT skills

Plot co-ordinate cells with a Letter and Number reference.

Use the Borders tools within the Formatting Toolbar to create lines.


As a class, run through the Borders tutorial. Ask students for suggestions for the troubleshooting questions. One way to solve this is to make sure they have the right coordinates to begin with. Students can undertake this independently prior to commecing the activity.

Prior knowledge

Ability to locate coordinate points using number/pair references or number/letter references. Ability to locate positions on a map.

Printable activity

Student should complete the activity sheet with little difficulty. Provide additional graph paper for fast finishers to create their own puzzles for other students to solve.

Lead-in activity:

For an interactive whiteboard, or with an OHP transparency, make a map of the school and local area including the number and letter coordinates. Present it to the class and identify the position of the school. Invite students to describe the location of the school in relation to other places on the map (streets, parks, intersections). Ask: Can you think of another way to identify the location of the school on the map? If students do not suggest the number and letter coordinates and grid lines, bring this to their attention. Note the coordinate reference for the school on the board.

Ask students to suggest other places on the map with their matching grid references and write these on the board.

At the computer:

  • Download the activity to the relevant shared work folder. Explain that this Word document will be useful in identifying and plotting coordinates, because each cell on the table has a unique row and column coordinate reference.

  • Activity 1 & 2: Read the text, identifying the definition of a coordinate. Identify the intersection of a letter and number reference on the table after clicking on a cell.

  • Activity 3: Read the instructions in rows 3 and 4 and explain to the students that they will apply the skills and understandings from the first two activities to create a mystery image for others to plot. Students can work in pairs or small groups to solve each other’s coordinate puzzles.

  • Before students begin working on the document at their own computer, make sure that they have opened the activity, re-named it and saved it to their personal folders on the school’s network/server.

  • TIP: Students could colour print their work from Activity 3 for a classroom display.

Class reflection

Gather the class around one computer, (or use an interactive whiteboard or data projector) to display and solve several activities designed by students of the class. Discuss the strategies used to create the pictures and reference the coordinates.




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