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Translations and Vectors

Graphical introduction to image translations

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Vocabulary: Fill in the Blanks

Term Definition
______ A __________ is an operation that is performed on a shape that moves or changes it in some way. There are four types of transformations: translations, reflections, dilations and rotations.
Translation A translation is an example of a transformation that moves each point of a shape the same              and in the same          . Translations are also known as slides .
_______ In a transformation, the final figure is called the             .
             In a transformation, the original figure is called the            .


1) (The purple heart is the preimage.) Cara described the translation above as 6 units backwards and 3 units down. Is she correct?  Why or why not?

2) Describe the translation above, where the purple "M" is the preimage.

3) Draw a hexagon translated up 5 units and 3 units to the left. Label the image and preimage.

4) Describe the translation above, where the purple figure is the preimage.

5) Use the diagram below to describe the following translations:

  1. A onto B
  2. A onto C
  3. A onto D
  4. A onto E
  5. A onto F

Click here for more practice with translations and answer keys.


When describing  translation, try picking an "anchor" point on both the preimage and the image.  Circle/highlight the anchor point on both images.  Then describe how the anchor point alone was translated.  This is often easier than trying to describe the whole image.

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