Directed Number

Australian curriculum number (ACMNA124)

This sequence introduces negative numbers through real-world contexts. Students build a strong mental model that they can use to understand what negative numbers are and how they work. The intention is that they will be able to draw on this mental model as they work with negative numbers in later years. 

These lessons assume no previous experience of directed number. At the simplest level, students only need to be able to count up and back with positive whole numbers, including using a number line.


Lesson 1: Elevator Challenge

Students play a game that involves moving an elevator up and down in a hotel. Through playing the game they develop a strong mental model of negative integers.

Lesson 2: Solar Temps

Students explore the temperatures of the different planets in the solar system. Using a thermometer that models a vertical number line, students read off average temperatures for the planets. They then determine and graph the maximum and minimum temperature ranges for each planet.


Last updated June 20 2020.