Adding Integers Using Number Lines

Brazilian kids with number line
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Here are some students with a colorful Number Line they made. Number lines are a great way of learning to add Integers.

In Mathematics there are two ways of adding Integers.

The first method involves using a number line.

The second method involves cancelling out positive and negative pairs, and then seeing what is left over.

In this lesson we will look at adding Integers using a Number Line.


Adding Integers Using a Number Line

Many people like to use a number line for adding Integers, and this is a great method for beginners.

When doing an addition sum on the number line:

Negative numbers involve moving to the left, and positive numbers involve moving to the right.

We always start our sum at zero in the middle of the number line, and then move to locate the first number on the line.

If our second number is NEGATIVE, we move that many places to the LEFT.

If our second number is POSITIVE, we move that many places to the RIGHT.

The following You Tube video shows how to add integers by moving along a number line.


Here is a longer You Tube video which shows several more examples of adding integers by moving along a number line.


Adding Integers Example 1

In this example we are adding +3 and -5.




So we need to move starting from zero, 3 places to the right. We do this because our first number in the sum is +3.

Add Int Ex 1 pt 1

Next we move five places to the left, because our second number is -5.

Add Ints Ex 1 pt 2

We finish up at -2 on the number line, and this is our final answer.

Add Ints Ex 1 pt 3

Adding Integers Example 2

In this example we do the sum: +6 + -4

The completed sum of six to the right, then 4 left is shown below.

The resulting answer is +2 or just 2.

Add Ints Ex 2


Adding Integers Example 3

In this example we do the sum: -3 + -2

The completed sum of three to the left, then 2 more to the left is shown below.

The resulting answer is -5 .

Add Ints Ex 5

Adding Integers Example 4

In this example we are doing the sum: 0 + -2

Zero as the first number is neither positive or negative.

This means we start at zero as usual, and then we just stay at zero.

Next we move two positions to the left for the -2.

The resulting answer is -2.

This is shown in the number line diagram below.

Add Ints Ex6

Practice Number Line

Here is a Practice Number Line for doing Integer Addition Questions.

Practice Number Line

Integers Video

Here is a video about Integers and walking the number line that was made by some High School students.


Here is another video which shows how to use a vertical “Elevator” Number Line.

Add Integers Using a Number Line from Amber Pasillas on Vimeo.


American Football Adding Integers Game

This is a fun game that helps us learn how to add Integers.

A loss of yards means a negative number, and a gain in yards means a positive number.

We click the mouse at the correct position on the number line to show the result of each world problem.

Click on the image below, or the link which follows, to play this game.

American Football Integers Game


Related Items

Introduction to Integers
Arranging Integers in Order
Adding Integers Using Zero Pairs
Subtracting Integers
Multiplying Integers
Dividing Integers
Integers Order of Operations
Directed Number Integers Games
Integers in the Real World
Integers in Drag Racing

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