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6.7: Linear Inequalities in Two Variables

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

Learning Objectives

At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Graph linear inequalities in one variable on the coordinate plane.
  • Graph linear inequalities in two variables.
  • Solve real-world problems using linear inequalities.


Terms introduced in this lesson:

dashed line/solid line

Teaching Strategies and Tips

In this lesson, students learn to graph linear inequalities on the coordinate plane.

  • Students draw dashed lines for the strict inequalities (<, >); interpret this as excluding the points on the line from the solution set. Students draw solid lines for the inequalities \le, \ge; interpret this as including the points on the line in the solution set.
  • Have students shade those regions of the plane which satisfy the given inequalities.
  • As a general rule, shade above the line y = mx + b if the stated inequality is y \ge mx + b. Shade below the line if y \le mx + b. Have students solve for y first. See Examples 5-7.
  • Graphing inequalities on the coordinate plane is a step up from graphing on the number line and requires more care.

Use Examples 1 and 2 to motivate graphing the absolute value inequalities in Examples 3 and 4.

  • Have students rewrite the absolute value inequality as a compound inequality first.

In Examples 8 and 9 and Problems 13 and 14 in the Review Questions,

  • Point out that quadrant I is the only quadrant used because the variables should be positive.
  • Only the points with integer coordinates are possible solutions in Example 9.

Error Troubleshooting

General Tip. Students can misinterpret an inequality such as x > 2 as an inequality in one variable and incorrectly shade that part of the x-axis for which x > 2.

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Date Created:

Feb 22, 2012

Last Modified:

Aug 22, 2014
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