Primary maths: Negative numbers

Sian Evans
07th November 2018
Children smiling and answering questions to promote positive messages about negative numbers

Promote positivity when working with negative numbers with help from these innovative resources

When you’ve spent all these maths lessons talking about numbers bigger than zero, it comes as no surprise that introducing negative numbers can cause some confusion. That’s why we’ve selected some of the very best negative number resources for all ages, whether you are talking about abstract ideas or discussing real-life examples. So, number lines at the ready…

Lessons and workpacks

Year 5 - Interpret negative numbers in context - Place Value - White Rose Week 1-4 (INC. MASTERY)

Corresponds to White Rose - Block 1 - Week 1-4

Objective: Interpret negative numbers in context, count forwards and backwards with positive and negative whole numbers, including through zero

In this pack you will receive 16 PDF printables, a 25 slide PowerPoint presentation and PDF printable answers. The worksheets include: mastery, extension and resource cards all designed for the 2014 curriculum that can be differentiated as detailed below:


Worksheet 1 – State the increments a number line goes up or down in
Worksheet 2 – Ordering sets of numbers
Worksheet 3 – Fill in the missing numbers on the number line
Worksheet 4 – Continue the number sequences
Worksheet 5 – Solve the sums involving negative numbers
Worksheet 6 – Continue a sequence using the stated increments
Worksheet 7 – Reading and drawing temperatures involving negative numbers
Worksheet 8 – Reading and drawing temperatures
Worksheet 9 – Temperature word problems
Worksheet 10 – Solving and drawing temperatures

Mastery + Extension Cards:
• Partner activities
• True or False activities with reasoning
• Missing number activity
• Work it out problem solving activities
• Explain the method activities
• Spot the mistake with reasoning activities

Resource Cards:
• 0-9 digit cards
• Temperature terminology
• Number line examples

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Primary Stars Education

By PrimaryStarsEducation

KS2: Negative Numbers (Six Lesson Unit of Work + BONUS RESOURCES)

This is a six lesson unit of work for teaching all negative numbers objectives in Year 4, 5 and 6. In this resource pack you will find: Lesson plans (including for your TA), differentiated worksheets/activities/games (LA, MA and HA plus a challenge activity for deeper understanding/mastery), answer sheets for all activities, flipcharts for whole class teaching (in ActivInspire, PowerPoint and PDF format) and a mini-assessment for the end of the unit. This pack will save you hours and hours of planning, resourcing, differentiating, finding challenging activities and generating flipcharts all for an amazing price. In addition, resources are uploaded in both PDF and Word format so that they can be edited to suit your needs. The children will love the fun characters, games and interesting activities

Lesson 1 introduces negative numbers and has the children placing numbers and identifying numbers on a number line, including negative numbers. The challenge activity: estimating numbers, including negative numbers, on a number line.

Lesson 2 starts with a fun game of number line tennis and then has the children counting forwards and backwards along a number line crossing zero. The challenge activity: counting across a number line, but with larger numbers.

Lesson 3 starts with a fun game of ‘Jungle Joust’ and then has the children using a number line to answer addition and subtraction questions involving negative numbers. The challenge activity: hot air balloon problem solving using negative numbers.

Lesson 4 involves the children calculating intervals across zero. The challenge activity: problem solving - ordering intervals represented on a blank number line.

Lesson 5 involves the children learning to read, use, compare and solve problems involving thermometers, including negative numbers. The challenge activity: Estimating readings on a thermometer

Lesson 6 involves the children comparing and ordering numbers, including negative numbers. Also, completing sequences that cross zero. The challenge activity: Can the children order the 24 numbers including negative numbers, decimals and fractions?

BONUS: Also included is a mini-assessment and answer scheme for the end of the unit AND NOW ADDED a worksheet generator (perfect for early bird or homework).

Objectives Covered:

Count backwards through 0 to include negative numbers

Interpret negative numbers in context, count forwards and backwards with positive and negative whole numbers, including through 0

Use negative numbers in context, and calculate intervals across 0

Each lesson is also available as an individual lesson (£2 each). Check out my shop to find these great resources + lots more!

Visit My Shop!

By Andrew Long

Negative Numbers - Number Line, Ordering and Differences.

(All answers are provided)

I've designed this resource to allow students to explore negative numbers from the basics.
It begins with a brief look at where negative numbers are used in real life.
This then leads to looking at the number line and finding missing numbers and rules.
Students then need to identify if a number is less than, equal to or more than another number or sum.

I've then created an interactive game where the students can come to the board and pop the bubbles in the correct order. (The bubbles move after a few seconds when in presentation mode). This then lists the order underneath. If a bubble is missed out there is a gap left and a discussion can be had about which number they missed and why etc..
There is then a written activity to be completed of order lists of numbers.

Students then start to look at temperature and the differences between negative and positive numbers. This leads into an activity on the difference of temperatures between different capital cities.

Then to finish there is an application on how this could be seen in an exam situation including answers.
I hope you find this resource as useful as my students have.
Miss B
By MissBsResources

Negative Numbers KS2

A bright and stimulating Powerpoint to explain Negative Numbers. This powerpoint has 12 slides (Plus one title and one end slide). Designed for KS2.

The topics in the powerpoint are:
Negative Numbers
Negative Numbers: A Number Line
Putting Negative Numbers in the Correct Order
Adding and Subtracting Negative Numbers

Both the original powerpoint, and the new one (with new title and end slides) are included.

By Magictrickster

Problem solving

Negative number word problems

LO: I can answer word problems involving negative numbers. Differentiated negative number word problems and answers for year 6
By fairykitty

Negative numbers

This selection of resources cover counting backwards and forwards in negative numbers to problem solving with negative numbers.
By WRMaths

Difference in Temperatures Problem Solving Activity

Activity using clues about temperatures in British cities to label a map with 12 cities and their respective temperatures. Clues are in a random order so they could be cut up into cards if that helps, the solution shows the order to tackle them, so they could be re-ordered for weaker students. The map labels either contain a city name or temperature and the learner writes the missing information in as they go, except the last city, which has both pieces of information missing. The map allows some cross-curricular links with Geography (markers on map are my educated guess) and there is obviously a link with Literacy. This is suitable for individuals/pairs/groups and can be printed 1 or 2 to a page.

By Maths Tiger

Compare and order negative integers and decimals - mastery worksheet

This is a mastery worksheet involving comparing and ordering negative integers and decimals.

The worksheet is split into 3 sections, fluency, reasoning and problem solving so students can master the topic.

All answers are included for the questions.

Please help me by reviewing my resources. As a thank you, if you purchase and review one please let me know by emailing and I’ll send you any of my mastery worksheets or mazes free of charge!

Follow me on Twitter @jmathsresources to see new resources and updates.

By jmathsresources


Negative Numbers

Activities (a game, puzzles worksheets and word problem cards) for differentiated negative numbers lessons at Key Stage 2 (KS2). It was originally designed for Year 5 and Year 6 and equivalents. Includes 3 fun Hidden Word / Spot the Mistake Puzzles (and solutions), a 30-card Loop Game / Dominoes Set and 16 Word Problems Cards (8 multi-step and 8 more simple).

An engaging alternative to worksheets, these Numeracy puzzles make ideal starter, early finisher or homework activities. There’s one on increasing and decreasing temperature (Celsius), one for simple subtraction calculations with mostly negative number answers and a more challenging puzzle featuring addition and subtraction of negative and positive integers. Puzzles can be completed individually or in pairs / groups. Similar to codebreaker puzzles, a maths-related word is revealed after completing calculations. Each puzzle contains a grid. Within each box is a calculation and a letter. Students circle boxes containing errors. Then they assemble the letters from the circled boxes to reveal a maths word. There’s a further challenge question / task at the bottom of the page linked to the word.

Pupils often forget or avoid checking their work so it’s great to get them carefully checking in these puzzles. Spotting common errors may help them remember to check their own work.

Fun group / whole class activity to consolidate adding and subtracting negative numbers, using phrases (‘reduce by’, ‘increase’, ‘difference between’ etc). Forms a continuous loop.

8 Multi-Step Word Problem Cards and 8 more simple. Solutions can be printed back to back with question side for student self-checking or can be printed and made into separate cards if required. Consolidates understanding of negative numbers in the contexts of temperature (degrees Celsius), money / bank accounts and points in a sporting league. Work well as early finisher challenges. Separate pounds and dollars versions.

A Mega Bundle of 12 of my Maths puzzle packs, including this one, is available for a big saving, while the same packs are also available in smaller bundles:

Maths Puzzles MEGA BUNDLE
Maths Puzzles BUNDLE 1
Maths Puzzles BUNDLE 2
Maths Puzzles BUNDLE 3

Visit FullShelf Resources for printables, activities and presentations to plan Primary Literacy, Maths and French lessons.

By FullShelf

Negative Numbers Magic Squares Challenges

Negative Numbers Magic Squares Challenges: A series of 3 differentiated magic square challenges. Complete the puzzles so that each row, column and diagonal have the same total. A fun problem solving challenging featuring negative numbers.

For more Outstanding Resources for Outstanding Teachers, please visit my website
By Helen Rachel Crossley

Negative Switch | Calculations Card Game

Adding and subtracting with negative numbers can be a challenging topic to make fun. This card game to exercise quick-fire, spontaneous positive and negative calculation of positive and negative numbers. As you turn each card over, add the value of the card to the collective total. If the card is a negative answer, add the negative answer (which is the same as subtracting). If you get a switch card, then every card after this you takeaway from the collective total. If the card is a negative number, then you subtract the negative number (which is the same as adding).

We have included a set of rules of play, but they are highly customisable for your needs. The game is also easily and quickly prepared for play with one student, all the way up to an entire classroom.

We also have a simpler version of this game that contains only positive integers.

This is included in Card Game Bundle 5

You may also like:
Negative Integers Battle Card Game
Negative Numbers Bingo

By LittleStreams

Negative numbers: Adding and subtracting negative numbers mazes

Adding and subtracting negative numbers mazes. 8 mazes with full solutions are included, great for use in a lesson on negative numbers when you don’t want to use traditional worksheets. Skills include positive subtract positive, negative subtract positive, negative add positive, negative add negative, subtracting a negative and a mixture. This is a fun way for students to consolidate adding and subtracting negative numbers.

This activity is great because students can self-check the answers and most of the time they don’t realise they are answering multiple questions.

Included in this product:
1 x positive subtract positive maze
1 x negative subtract positive maze
1 x negative add positive maze
1 x negative add negative maze
1 x subtracting a negative maze
3 x mixtures of the above mazes

Recommended uses for this activity
★a revison tool for students who have complete a unit on negative numbers
★A task for quick finishers and more able students
★ A starter to check for prior learning

Students work their way through the maze, colouring the correct answers and following the path to the next question.

Click here for more negative number resources, including lessons worksheets and treasure hunts.

By MissEHoney

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