ALEX Learning Activity


Jumping Around With Integers

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  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Samantha Wallace
System:Limestone County
School:Cedar Hill Elementary School
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 2291
Jumping Around With Integers
Digital Tool/Resource:
Web Address – URL:
Not Applicable

In this introduction to integers, the students discuss the meaning of the number zero and then practice determining whether a situation should be represented by a positive or a negative number. They will either jump or sit down to physically represent integers.

This activity results from the ALEX Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
MA2015 (2016)
Grade: 6
8 ) Understand that positive and negative numbers are used together to describe quantities having opposite directions or values (e.g., temperature above/below zero, elevation above/below sea level, credits/debits, positive/negative electric charge); use positive and negative numbers to represent quantities in real-world contexts explaining the meaning of 0 in each situation. [6-NS5]

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
8NPO1d: Write or rename rational numbers.

NAEP Statement::
8NPO1e: Recognize, translate or apply multiple representations of rational numbers (fractions, decimals, and percents) in meaningful contexts.

NAEP Statement::
8NPO1h: Order or compare rational numbers (fractions, decimals, percents, or integers) using various models and representations (e.g., number line).

NAEP Statement::
8NPO5e: Apply basic properties of operations.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
M.AAS.6.8- Identify positive and negative numbers in real-world situations (e.g., using visual representations related to credits/debits, temperatures above/below zero).

Learning Objectives:

The students will be able to describe quantities having opposite directions or values with positive and negative numbers.

  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

Begin by drawing a number line on the right side of the board (it can have any numerical values -- for example, you could do 0-5 or 0-20). Make sure to label the start as zero.  Explain to the students that they are going to be learning about the other side of the number line, the area behind the zero. Add an opposite half to the number line with matching negative numbers appropriately labeled.

Have students Think-Pair-Share and discuss how negative numbers might be used in the real world. What are some situations that can be represented by a negative number? Look for answers like overdrafting a bank account, freezing temperatures, or elevation below sea level. Explain that negative numbers can be used to represent the opposite of a positive number situation.

Have all the students push their chairs back and stand in front of them. List several situations or integers and have the students jump if it's positive or sit if it's negative.

  • You find $5
  • You dove 7 meters
  • 10 degrees above zero
  • 12 steps backward
  • The elevator went down 4 floors
  • A loss of 8 yards in football
  • 40 ft. below sea level
  • You withdraw $52

In closing, ask students what value is represented by their standing position (zero). Remind them that we don't use a symbol for positive numbers.

Assessment Strategies:

Use observation to see which students are watching their peers before they sit or jump; those students may need direct small group instruction.

After the closing, give students an exit ticket (Intro to Integers Exit Ticket) to check for understanding. They should complete this individually. As they finish, they can bring it to the teacher to check to quickly correct any misconceptions that students may have.

Advanced Preparation:

Prepare copies of the exit ticket (there are 6 per page). You will need a list of positive or negative situations (examples provided in the lesson).

Variation Tips (optional):

You can vary the activity that students perform to show positive or negative -- for example, you can have them show thumbs up or down.

Notes or Recommendations (optional):
  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: integers, negative, number line, numbers, opposite, positive