Negative Numbers Lesson: Trip Around the World (Including Graphing)



In this lesson students learn how to add and subtract negative numbers. After teaching students the initial skill of adding and subtracting  negative numbers, students names become the “new names” of countries. The first part of the lesson requires the students to work out how cold their name is using the template for the letters. The second part of this lesson involves students placing the names of 10 class members on a blank world map, where they think their country would be situated according to their temperature

Australian Curriculum Links:

  • Compare, order, add and subtract integers(ACMNA280)
  1. Demonstrate to the students how to add and subtract negative numbers using numbers lines and giving students a visual aid.**(This is super important so that students grasp this tricky concept). 
  1. Ask students to write their names down in their maths books and tell them they are now countries! (In my class i rearranged the furniture to simulate individual countries by putting the tables by themselves).
  2. Pull up a world map and initiate a discussion about the temperatures of countries (Antarctica- Why so cold, Bali- Always hot) Talking about the equator and it’s impact.
  3. Using the template below, students will work out their “average” temperature of their name. **Please stress that this isn’t how to work out an average.
  4. negative numbers
  5. negative numbers 1
  6. Write up all the students names on the board and their “average” temperature and discuss why different names are cold and hot. **It’s interesting to see how many are actually positive.
  7. Give students the world map template and invite the students to choose 10 countries to plot on the blank world map.
  8. After they have plotted the countries students using a scale of 1 cm= 100km they will work out how far they travel around the world and calculate the distance as well as how the temperature increases and decreases.


  1. Invite students to present their new understandings to the rest of the class.



  • Anecdotal Notes
  • Work Samples
  • Set success criteria at the start of the lesson and reflect at the end


  • World Map Template A3World Map
  • Work Sample Photo
  •  IMG_0788


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