Using and Drawing Number Lines
Basics on the topic Using and Drawing Number Lines
Number Line Diagrams
What is a Number Line Diagram? Let’s learn more about number lines and how to draw one with the following explanation. There are two types of number lines: closed number lines and open number lines. Both types are usually shown horizontally.
Number Line Diagrams – Definition
What is a number line diagram? Number lines are straight lines that show a set of numbers at equally spaced points called intervals. They are usually horizontal. We can get number lines that show different numbers. We might see a number line to 10, a number line to 30, a number line to 50 or a number line to 100. Sometimes we might see a blank number line but we can fill in numbers to help us to solve problems.
Reading Number Line Diagrams
Whether a number line already has numbers or is blank to start with, numbers get larger when we move to the right or forwards. If we are using a number line to solve a problem, clue words like addition, plus, more, count on or sum give us hints to move to the right. Numbers get smaller when you move to the left or backwards. Clue words like subtraction, minus, less, count back, or difference give us hints to move to the left.
Drawing a Number Line Diagram
First, draw a straight line with arrows on either end.
Next, make marks at equal spaces along the line. To show the numbers one to ten, make ten marks.
Then, find the starting number; here it is one. Label that on the left side.
Finally, label all of the marks by counting up to the final marker; here it is ten.
Number Line Diagrams – Summary of Steps
To draw a number line, follow these steps:
Step #  What to do 

1  First, draw a straight line with arrows on either end. 
2  Next, make marks at equal spaces along the line. 
3  Then, find the starting number and label that on the left side. 
4  Finally, label all of the marks by counting up to the final marker. 
Have you practiced yet? After watching the video, you can find interactive exercises, worksheets and further activities for number line diagrams.
Transcript Using and Drawing Number Lines
Skylar and Henry are visiting the famous maths museum, The Hall of Numbers.
"Look! It's the world’s oldest number line!" "Achoo! Uhoh, what do we do now?"
Let's help Skylar and Henry by "Using and Drawing Number Lines"! Here is a number line. This one shows numbers from zero to ten. We usually see a number line drawn horizontally like this. Number lines are straight lines that show a set of numbers at equally spaced points called intervals. Sometimes we see arrows on either end of the line to represent ALL of the other numbers that we cannot see. Number lines can help us to count, order, or find missing numbers. Sometimes we get number lines that don't have any numbers on them. They may start off blank but we can fill in the numbers at different spaces, or intervals, to help us to solve problems. The intervals can be made by small, medium or large jumps of one, five, ten, or one hundred for example. Number lines can help us when we are trying to solve problems by counting forwards or backwards with large numbers. On both number lines, numbers get larger when we move to the right or forwards. Clue words like addition, plus, more, count on, or sum give us hints to move to the right. On both numbers lines, numbers get smaller when you move to the left or backwards. Clue words like subtraction, minus, less, count back, or difference give us hints to move to the left. Now that we know all about number lines, let's help Skylar and Henry replace the number line they broke. First, draw a straight line with arrows on either end. "Next, make marks at equal spaces along the line." Skylar and Henry need to show the numbers one to ten so they will make ten marks. "Then, find the starting number and label that on the left side." Skylar and Henry will start at the number one. Finally, label all of the marks by counting up to the final marker. Great work, Skylar and Henry! Look who's coming over to check it out! Whilst they waddle over, let's remember! Number lines are straight lines that show a set of numbers at equally spaced points called intervals. Number lines can help us count, order or find missing numbers. We can also get number lines that don't have any numbers on! They are also straight lines that show numbers but they start off blank and we can fill in numbers at different spaces, or intervals, to help us solve problems. Number lines like these can help us when we are trying to solve problems by counting forwards or backwards with large numbers. To draw a number line: First, draw a straight line with arrows on either end. "Next, make marks at equal spaces along the line." "Then, find the starting number and label that on the left side." Finally, label all of the marks by counting up to the final marker. “Everything looks normal out here, must be the alarm acting up again.” “Phew! That was close!”
Using and Drawing Number Lines exercise

What are the two types of number lines?
HintsRemember, some number lines have set options, while others are more open.
This number line is open because it can have whichever numbers we choose.
SolutionThe two types of number lines are closed number lines and open number lines. Skylar and Henry say thank you for reminding them!

Tell the difference between open and closed number lines.
HintsOpen numbers can have small, medium, or large jumps.
Open number lines start blank.
Remember, closed number lines have the numbers already filled in.
SolutionThis is the open number line and the closed number line.

Fill in the intervals on the closed number line.
HintsRemember, count up to find the missing numbers.
The number line is going up in steps of 1.
SolutionAll of the marks are labelled to show a complete closed number line. Now Skylar and Henry can finish fixing the number line!

Which number line is used to add or subtract larger numbers?
HintsRemember, one number line is meant for adding and subtracting larger numbers, while the other has integers we fill in one by one.
Which number line would you use to solve 154 + 84? Which number line makes sense to use with large numbers?
SolutionSkylar should use an open number line. Open number lines help to solve problems counting forwards or backwards with large numbers.

Highlight the clue words.
HintsRemember, look for words that tell you to move forwards, not backwards.
Words that tell us to count forward are words that mean to add. Which of these words mean to add together?
There are 5 words that mean to add or count forward on a number line.
SolutionClue words like: addition, plus, more, count on, or sum, tell us to move to the right. These words tell us to move forward on the number line.

Can you label the parts of the number line?
HintsFind the starting number, and label that on the left side.
There are 10 spaces to fill in on this number line.
SolutionWe labelled the starting number on the left side, and counted up to the final marker. There are 10 spaces on the number line, so the numbers should be filled in from 1 to 10.