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Negative Numbers Topic Guide

Negative numbers are numbers that are less than zero. On a horizontal number line, they appear to the left of the zero, or underneath it on a vertical numberline.

Negative numbers are important in real life. When it is below freezing, the numbers on a thermometer are negative, for example.

Teach your children about the negative numbers using our handy topic guide!

Choose a section:
Teaching Ideas | Resources | Facts | Videos | Books | Links

Teaching Ideas

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Resources

Negative Numbers Facts

  • Negative numbers have been used by people for at least 2000 years.
  • To show a number is negative, write a minus sign in front of it.
  • You will find negative numbers on a thermometer.
  • If a building has a lift that goes to a basement, it could be marked -1.

Videos

Negative Numbers: An Overview

This brief video is a good introduction to real uses for negative numbers.

Running time: 1:50

A Trick for Adding and Subtracting Negative Numbers

A really useful visualisation to help children remember how to add and subtract negative numbers.

Running time: 2:00

Adding and subtracting negative numbers

A full explanation of adding and subtracting negative numbers using a number line.

Running time: 4:29

Ordering negative numbers

A good explanation of how to order negative numbers.

Running time: 3:58

Books

Negative Numbers: Directed Numbers

A step by step introduction to the topic.

Positive and Negative Numbers

A fun rhyming text that looks at number, including negative numbers.

Collins Maths Dictionary

An illustrated maths dictionary for children.

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