Christmas Lights Quadratics

Type: Investigation

Theme: Functions

Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Learning Target: Students will use the vertex form of the quadratic equation to build Christmas tree lights.

  1. Make three sketches of you Christmas tree and light patterns.
  2. Obtain a Peer Review before producing final artwork.
  3. Significantly modify or create your own Christmas tree. (
  4. Add quadratic functions to decorate your Christmas Tree.
    1. Use vertext form of the quadratic function: f(x)=a(x-h)^2+k
    2. Use function to create points (l,f(l)) based on sets of numbers (l).
  5. Color the lights of your Christmas tree. Animate the lights if desired.
    1. Use rgb(red,green,blue) for custom colors.
    2. Animate using Desmos's "Ticker" and lists of colors.
    3. Light point sizes can be adjusted using a variable or the random() function.
  6. Research: What is the difference between LED and incandescent bulbs?
  7. Add a star or angel to your Christmas Tree. Use interesting functions or tables.


Submit a Word Doc only.

  1. Three sketches
  2. Peer Review
  3. Include link to Desmos graph
  4. Full-size snip of graphic
  5. At least one paragraph response to research question (in your own words). Higher points will be awarded to responses with custom diagrams.
  6. Submit to Desmos's Global Art Challenge: If using borrowed code, be sure to modify it significantly enough to demonstrate originality.


Exit Ticket
CCSS Math Practice
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts


Christmas Tree Samples