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Fun: Using Desmos for NOT Math

You may or may not know about Desmos. If you think it is a tool for math, you are only partially correct.

teacher.desmos.com can easily be used for ANY SUBJECT.

Desmos Polygraph

Desmos has several ways to engage students. Polygraph is an activity where students are paired up and ask yes or no questions to determine the pattern. The polygraph activity was hands down one of my highest engagement activities all last year.

In this ice cream polygraph students will try to determine which ice cream selection the partner student chose.

Create Your Own Polygraph

Desmos allows you to create your own Polygraph activities. I made the ice cream one. Polygraph has 16 cards that share similar traits. The students can only respond with yes or no questions. For each trait some cards will have this trait in common, but not all cards.

For foreign language choose several words or images and create 16 cards that are different conjugations. A partner student might ask “Is this in the future tense?” The yes or no response would allow the student to eliminate all of the verbs that are/not in the future tense.

Create 16 cards with the map of a country on them. The partner student might ask “Is the country in South America?” A yes or no response would allow the student to eliminate all the cards that do not fit.

Add 16 of the periodic table elements. “Is this a common gas?” may be a question a student could inquire to reduce down the possibilities. “Does this have more than 18 protons?”

Create a Polygraph

Go to http://teacher.desmos.com and on the left hand side it will say “Custom Activities.”

In the upper right is the option for “New Polygraph.”

Turn Off Axes

In the bottom right is the option to “Show axes and grid lines.” Uncheck this so it is not a scary graphing calculator. You do not need a graphing calculator for non math activities 🙂

Add Image

On the left hand side click the plus icon to choose “image.”

Create images (I use Google Drawings) and upload them.

Next Card

You need to create 16 cards. No more, no less. Click on each of the 16 blank squares on the right hand side to add the image.

Easy Peasy

That is it! That is all you have to do to create a not math Polygraph using the FREE tool Desmos. Create an activity link and share with students!

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