This is a fun project that I started doing to support my Art teacher and show students that Algebra can make the most amazing things.
Have students pick out a picture. This is a great sell to students since they have control over what type of picture, icon, avatar, etc that they use for the project.
This was the example I used, the logo from my college, the Bemidji State University Beaver.
Have student create a free hand drawing of the picture. This allows them to adjust the picture, editing lines and shading that they may not want to show. It allows them to be creative and adapt the picture for the project.
Here was my free-hand drawing of the Beaver.
Students recreate their free hand sketch on graph paper and using only lines. They should try to make shapes end on grid points of the paper. This part can take a while, if students created a large enough free hand sketch, you could allow window tracing to help transfer the image to graph paper. I have students make 2 copies of the graph image, one they can decorate and one for the next step.
Here is my colored graph paper image.
Have students create an X&Y Axis on their picture. I allow them to create them wherever they want, and usually they have them right in the center of their drawing. Depending on the patience level of the students, I have them label points that create their drawing. There are times I only have them do a set amount (20 or so) and times I have them label each line segment ending. This is totally up to you.
My XY Axis image:
DESMOS! Need I say anything more. I used to have students write the equations of the lines that create their image, but with the totally awesome program DESMOS, I now have students create their image with it. DESMOS has helped students understand how changing the slope or intercept effects the line, and with the instant drawing of the line when they enter the equation, it allows them to visually see where their line is. This is a great error check for students, and they accept mistakes more readily than if they are writing equations on paper.
My DESMOS image.
To complete this project, I have students create a collage of their sketches, and a printout of the equations from DESMOS. I then hang these posters out in the hallway for everyone to enjoy. This attracts students from all over the building to come check out what kind of cool activities we do in 8th grade. I am even getting new 8th grade students asking me when we will start this project!