The Highs & Lows of Positive & Negative Numbers

Subject: Math

Lesson Length: 30 - 45 mins

Topic: The Number System; Positive & Negative Numbers

Grade Level: 6

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: In this lesson, students will describe the elevations and temperatures of locations using positive and negative numbers.

Know Before You Start:

  • Students should understand the relationship of positive and negative numbers with their relationship to zero. 

  • This lesson would integrate well with a geography unit.

Hook: Read and discuss the sample comic.

  • Do you think there’s a relationship between temperature and elevation?
  • What are some other ways negative and positive numbers can be used?


  • Have students choose a location around the world that meets one or both of the following criteria:

    • Elevations above and below sea level.

    • Experiences high and low temperatures that include negatives.

  • Have them research their chosen location in order to find specific positive and negative temperatures and/or elevations. 

  • Using the sample comic as a guide, have students create a two-to-three-panel comic explaining the high and low temperatures and elevation above and/or below sea level.

Closure: Have students rotate around the room in a gallery walk to read each other’s comics. This will allow them to experience more negative numbers in context and learn about different places around the world.


  • Provide specific locations for students as needed.

  • Display student comic expectations.


  • Comic to print or display: Comic.