Task# Extending the Number Line

Illustrative MathematicsVaries

The purpose of this task is to understand that there are natural mathematical questions to ask for which there are no answers if we restrict ourselves to the positive numbers. The idea is to motivate the need for negative numbers and to see that there is a natural representation of them on the number line. In 7th grade, students will formally explore using a number line to add and subtract signed numbers. This task does not aim to teach students to operate with integers on a number line, but simply to understand why we extend our number system beyond whole numbers.