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Ever wondered how to teach integers, opposites, and absolute values in an engaging way to your 6th grade students?

In this lesson plan, students will learn about and identify integers, opposites, and absolute values and their real-life applications. Then, students will apply their skills to compare and order integers, opposites, absolute values using inequality statements. Then, they will plot integers and rational numbers on the number line diagrams. Through artistic, interactive guided notes, a check for understanding, and a color by number activity, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the topic.

The lesson culminates with a real-life example that explores how elevation during hiking (above, at, below sea levels) can be represented by integers.

- Grade: 6th Grade
- Type: Lesson Plans
- Standards: CCSS 6.NS.C.5, CCSS 6.NS.C.6.a, CCSS 6.NS.C.6, CCSS 6.NS.C.6.c, CCSS 6.NS.C.7.a, CCSS 6.NS.C.7

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After this lesson, students will be able to:

Define integers and identify key vocabulary words associated with positive, negative, or neutral integers (i.e. above sea level, at sea level, below sea level)

Identify opposites and absolute values of rational numbers

Plot integers and rational numbers on the number line

Compare, order, and interpret statement of inequality related to integers, opposites, and absolute values

Analyze real-life applications of integers, opposites, and absolute values

Before this lesson, students should be familiar with:

Basic understanding of number lines

Understanding of positive and negative numbers and their relationship to each other

Basic understanding of decimals and fractions

Inequality symbols for greater than and less than

Pencils

Colored pencils or markers

Integers, Opposites, Absolute Values Guided Notes

Integers

Opposites

Absolute values

Rational numbers

Number line

Compare

Order

Real-life applications

Elevation

Sea level

As a hook, ask students why understanding elevation might be important for hikers. Alternatively, you can also use temperature as an example of positive and negative integers. Refer to the last page of the guided notes as well as the FAQs below for ideas.

Use the guided notes to introduce integers, opposites, and absolute values. Walk through the key points of the topic of the guided notes to teach. Refer to the FAQ below for a walk-through on this, as well as ideas on how to respond to common student questions.

Use the guided notes to introduce integers, opposites, and absolute values. Walk through the key definitions and fill in the vocabulary word chart of common examples of positive integers, negative integers, and zero in the guided notes. Then represent real life situations with integers as shown on the notes. Complete the rest of the notes by plotting integers, opposites, and absolute values on the number line to compare them. Refer to the FAQ below for a walk-through on this, as well as ideas on how to respond to common student questions.

There are multiple checks for understanding integrated into the guided notes. Have students walk through these short practice sections. Call on students to talk through their answers, potentially on the whiteboard or projector. Based on student responses, reteach concepts that students need extra help with.

Have students practice their skills by completing the Color by Number activity included in the lesson materials. Walk around the classroom to answer any questions and provide support as needed.

Fast finishers can explore the digital practice extension or the print practice extension for additional practice. Both options provide a fun and engaging way for students to reinforce their understanding of integers, opposites, and absolute values.

Bring the class back together, and introduce the concept of elevation during hiking (above, at, below sea levels) as a real-life application of integers. Refer to the last page of the guided notes as well as the FAQs for more ideas on how to teach it!

If you're looking for digital practice for integers, opposites, and absolute values, try my Pixel Art activities in Google Sheets. Every answer is automatically checked, and correct answers unlock parts of a mystery picture. It's incredibly fun, and a powerful tool for differentiation.

A fun, no-prep way to practice integers, opposites, and absolute values is Doodle & Color by Number — they’re a fresh take on color by number or color by code. It includes multiple levels of practice, perfect for a review day or sub plan.

An integer is a whole number that can be positive, negative, or zero. A rational number is any number that can be expressed as a ratio of two integers.

The absolute value of a number is its distance from zero on a number line. It is always a positive value.

You can compare and order integers by plotting them on a number line and then looking at their relative position.

In math, an opposite is a number that has the same absolute value but is of the opposite sign. For example, the opposite of -5 is 5.

Integers are used in real life to represent a variety of things, including temperatures, elevations, and scores in games.

You can reinforce your understanding of integers, opposites, and absolute values by practicing with the included Color by Number activity or exploring the additional digital and print practice extensions provided in the lesson. See above for ideas for extension activities.

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