In Ontario there is a strange grade 12 course called Calculus & Vectors. The two components are completely separate and we are on day 4 of vectors now. Part of today's work involved plotting points in 3D, which they have never had to do before. I start by getting them make their own set of 3D axes using straws (and tape/pipe cleaners) which they can then use whenever they like.
I have my own made of wood thanks to a fabulous former student.
I had them use their models to plot points (in the air) and then showed them the points plotted on this cool little website found on the Solve My Maths site. They then drew the points by hand.
I really liked this and my students appreciated how it showed the point starting at the origin and moving along each plane.
At the end of the lesson I got them to do this treasure hunt. I told them the treasure was a lollipop and they were (strangely) very motivated by this. They had to use the clues given to determine the location of the treasure (such a fake context!) and they really seemed to enjoy it.
And they also enjoyed their "treasure"!