ALEX Learning Activity

Using Number Lines to Model Real-World Problems

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Kimberly Dockery
System:Alabama Department of Education
School:Alabama Department of Education
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 2704
Using Number Lines to Model Real-World Problems
Digital Tool/Resource:
Math Learning Digital Number Line
Web Address – URL:

In this activity, students will compute real-world problems with rational numbers while using a digital number line. Students are provided a sample problem to work through to become familiar with the digital number line. Since problems can be solved using multiple methods, students are asked to provide a number sentence to represent their number line model as well as the solution to the problem. Through the online digital tool, students can also share a link to their work with their teacher or classmates. This provides a great opportunity for students to investigate how to solve problems using multiple methods.

Using Number Lines to Model Real-World Problems Student Response Page

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 7
30) Apply the problem-solving process to solve real-world problems.

MA2019 (2019)
Grade: 7
4. Apply and extend knowledge of operations of whole numbers, fractions, and decimals to add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational numbers including integers, signed fractions, and decimals.

a. Identify and explain situations where the sum of opposite quantities is 0 and opposite quantities are defined as additive inverses.

b. Interpret the sum of two or more rational numbers, by using a number line and in real-world contexts.

c. Explain subtraction of rational numbers as addition of additive inverses.

d. Use a number line to demonstrate that the distance between two rational numbers on the number line is the absolute value of their difference, and apply this principle in real-world contexts.

e. Extend strategies of multiplication to rational numbers to develop rules for multiplying signed numbers, showing that the properties of the operations are preserved.

f. Divide integers and explain that division by zero is undefined. Interpret the quotient of integers (with a non-zero divisor) as a rational number.

g. Convert a rational number to a decimal using long division, explaining that the decimal form of a rational number terminates or eventually repeats.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
M.AAS.7.4 Add and subtract integers up to 15.

Learning Objectives:

The student will solve real-world problems involving rational numbers.

The student will use a digital number line to solve real-world problems.

  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

Students will explore using a digital number line to solve real-world problems that include rational numbers. The digital number line offers many settings that include negative values, decimals, integers, and fractions. Students will work through an example problem with detailed instructions to become familiar with how to change the settings on the number line. Students are then provided five additional problems to complete. Optional number line settings are included for each problem. Have each student complete the first problem independently. At this point, the teacher should conduct a Think-Pair-Share with the class. Each student should have a partner. Ask the students to work with their partners to compare their two number lines to determine if the models and number sentences are the same or different. Allow each group to share their results and reasoning with the rest of the class. Students can then answer the remaining questions using their digital number line. Since the digital tool can create a link to share their number lines, the students can easily send this information to the teacher. For an extension or additional practice, students can be asked to write their own real-world problems and then create a model for their problem. The problems could also be exchanged with other classmates.

Assessment Strategies:

Have students complete an exit slip explaining if they found the digital number line helpful while solving the word problems.

Through the link provided from the student, evalute the student's digital number line used to solve the real-world problem.

Advanced Preparation:

Visit the Digital Number Line Tool to become familiar with how to use the tool. 

Students will need online access to the digital number line.

Copy the “Using Number Lines to Model Real-World Problems” student response page.

Variation Tips (optional):

During the Think-Pair-Share the teacher can display the number line models the students designed and allow them to explain the different ways they built their number lines. 

The teacher can also allow students to write their own word problems with given parameters and allow students to exchange problems to solve.

Notes or Recommendations (optional):

If students do not have access to the digital tool, the teacher can provide paper copies of number lines and allow the students to build their own.

  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: Decimals, Fractions, Model, Negative, Number Line, Positive, Rational Number, Real World, RealWorld, Word Problem, Word Problems