Addition Strategies: Number Lines

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11616

Do you like to wait in line? Do you like to jump like a frog? What's that have to do with addition? Numbers can wait in line to help you solve addition problems! You jumping like a frog comes later!


Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Whole Numbers and Operations

learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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There are a lot of tools you can use to help with addition! The tool below is called a number line.

  • Have you ever used one before?

You will now!

If you ever get stuck on an addition problem, a number line is one tool that will come in handy!

If you haven't yet completed the previous Related Lessons in this Addition Strategies series, found in the right-hand sidebar, please do so now.

Take a look at the number line below.

  • What number does the number line start with, and what number does it end with?

Share your answer with your parent or teacher:

Did you say the number line starts at 0 and ends at 12? Great work!

Pretend you are a frog. Show your parent or teacher how a frog moves.

That's right! Frogs hop. When using a number line, you can pretend that a frog is hopping from number to number. Take a look at the addition problem below:

5 + 3 =

The first thing you want to do when using a number line is find the first number in the problem.

  • Which number is first, 3 or 5? Tell your parent or teacher.

That's right! Five is the first number in the problem.

5 + 3 =

Once you have found the first number, locate that number on the number line below. Show your parent or teacher where the number 5 is on the number line below:

Did you find the 5? Fantastic.

  • If you are adding 3 and 5 together, how many jumps does the frog have to make? Share your answer with your parent or teacher.

5 + 3 =

That is correct! The frog needs to jump three times. Every time the frog jumps from one number to the next, it counts as one jump. Look at how the number line looks when the frog jumps from number to number:

Look at the frog hops on the number line above.

  • How many times did the frog hop? Share your answer with your parent or teacher.

That's right! The frog hopped three times.

  • What number does the last hop end on?

Look at where the arrow is pointing. Tell your parent or teacher.

That's correct! The last hop ends on the number 8. Eight is your answer. Look at the written answer below:

5 + 3 = 8

You did a fantastic job learning how to solve math problems using a number line!

Before moving on to the next section, tell your parent or teacher what you should do first when you are solving a problem with a number line.

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