I use Desmos regularly in class, so it was not a huge stretch for them to pick up the tool. I did show them how to restrict domain and range (although most of them stuck exclusively to domain).
I gave them the project as we began to talk about function transformations, and they had 3.5 months to complete it. They complained, but the results were fantastic. (...bunch of drama queens).
Couple of important points, and then I'll let you peruse/steal the handouts and view the samples of student work (of which I am extremely proud).
Pointer #1: It was important that students copied a piece of art (this was typically a cartoon of sorts). Making them copy a pre-existing piece meant they must think about how the parameters shift to match. No lines are arbitrarily chosen.
Pointer #2: Illustrate how a variety of functions could model the same segment of line. When I do it again, I may even have weekly challenges as they are introduced to more and more function variety. Something small. I may project a simple image and ask, "What functions would you use to draw this?"
With all that out of the way, here are the materials I used:
- Here is the handout I gave them. (It stresses the pre-drawing as well as the replication of a piece of art)
- Here is a tutorial sheet that Mary Bourassa gave me to show a simple example from quadratics. Her blog post can be found here.
- Here is a .pdf of 9 samples of student work.
Now that I (and you) have samples of work, it will go all the smoother the next time.