Using Number Lines to Add
Basics on the topic Using Number Lines to Add
Adding on a Number Line
Number lines are a helpful tool when you need to add multiple numbers. But, what is Number Line Addition? An addition number line is a straight line with numbers spaced apart equally. What is Addition on a Number Line? When we use a number line for addition, that means we are modeling addition on a number line. Using a number line model for addition, helps us keep track of what we are adding easily. In the next section you will learn how to use a number line for addition.
Adding Numbers on a Number Line
A number line is a straight line with numbers spaced apart equally. When we use a number line for addition, we use the numbers to count forwards. Using a number line for addition, helps us to keep track of what we are adding easily. In the next section you will learn how to use a number line for addition.
Adding on a Number Line – Example
These steps tell you how to add on a number line:
Step #  What to do 

1  Find the starting number or the amount we have on the number line. 
2  Count the number we are adding, moving to the right. 
3  Write the number you land on in the total, this is the answer. 
In this example, we need to add four and five. Let’s use the steps on how to do addition with number line:
 Step 1: Find the starting number or the amount we have on the number line
 Step 2: Count the number we are adding, moving to the right
 Step 3: Write the number you land on as the total, this is the answer
Adding on a Number Line – Summary
Adding on number lines is a method often taught in year 1. How do you do addition on a number line? Remember, showing addition on a number line is very simple if you follow the steps on how to add numbers on the number line:
 Step 1: Find the starting number or the amount we have on the number line.
 Step 2: Count the number we are adding, moving to the right.
 Step 3: Write the number you land on in the total, this is the answer.
Have you practised yet? On this website you can have a go at our adding on a number line worksheet along with other activities, and exercises.
Transcript Using Number Lines to Add
Mr. Squeaks is testing out the blender he just built. What better way to test it than to make a smoothie? He has some bananas, strawberries and blueberries and asked Imani to bring some more of each.
Let's practice "addition on a number line up to twenty" to help Mr. Squeaks find the total amount of each ingredient.
HERE is a number line. A number line is a straight line with numbers spaced apart equally. This number line shows ZERO on the LEFT and counts up to TWENTY on the RIGHT. We can use a number line to help us find how many bananas Mr. Squeaks has in TOTAL. He started with four bananas, and Imani brought him five more, so we are adding FOUR plus FIVE. The first step is to find the number FOUR on the number line. Where is the number four on the number line? HERE is the number FOUR. The second step is to count FIVE places to the right, since we are adding FIVE. When ADDING on a number line, we always count to the RIGHT because the number will get bigger as we add. Let's count five places together! One, two, three, four, five! The number you stop on is your answer. FOUR plus FIVE is NINE, which means Mr. Squeaks has nine bananas. Next, Mr. Squeaks started with three strawberries, and Imani brought him ten more. Let's add THREE plus TEN to see how many strawberries he has in total! The first step is to find the number THREE on the number line. Where is the number three on the number line? HERE is the number THREE. The second step is to count TEN places to the right, since we are adding TEN. Let's count ten places together! one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten! What number did we stop on? Thirteen. THREE plus TEN is THIRTEEN, which means Mr. Squeaks has thirteen strawberries. Finally, Mr. Squeaks started with fourteen blueberries, and Imani brought him six more. Let's solve FOURTEEN plus SIX to calculate the TOTAL number of blueberries he has! This time, try to use the number line to find the answer on your own!
Let's go over how to find the answer together. The first step is to find FOURTEEN on the number line. The second step is to count SIX places to the RIGHT, since we are adding six. Let's count six places together! one,two, three, four, five, six! The number we stopped on is TWENTY, so FOURTEEN plus SIX is TWENTY, which means Mr. Squeaks has twenty blueberries. Before we see if Mr. Squeaks' blender works, let's summarise. Remember, a number line is a straight line with numbers spaced apart equally. We can use a number line to help us when adding. First, find the starting number or the amount we have on the number line. Secondly, count the number we are adding, moving to the RIGHT.
The number we land on is the answer. Mr. Squeaks is ready to make his smoothie! Uh oh, that doesn't sound right!
Using Number Lines to Add exercise

How many bananas do they have altogether?
HintsUse the picture of the number line to help you.
Start at 2 and count 5 jumps along the number line. The number you land on is the answer.
SolutionMr. Squeaks and Imani have seven bananas!
 Mr. Squeaks had two bananas so we find 2 on the number line.
 We then count 5 jumps forwards because Imani brought five bananas.
 We will land on 7, so the answer is seven bananas.
 You could have found 5 on the number line and counted 2 jumps forwards.
 We would still land on 7 this way.

How many strawberries do they have?
HintsRemember, you are trying to solve 9 + 6.
Find 9 on the number line and count 6 jumps forwards.
SolutionMr. Squeaks had nine strawberries and Imani brought six more, so we are working out 9 + 6.
 First, find 9 on the number line.
 Next, jump forwards 6 spaces, this time highlighting each jump in yellow.
 We land on 15 so that is our answer. Highlight it in green.
 Mr. Squeaks and Imani had fifteen strawberries altogether.
 When working out these sorts of problems, you can also start at 6 and count 9 jumps forwards.
 You would still land on 15.
 However, it is often easier to start with the larger number.

Can you add the fruits to find the total number of ingredients in each smoothie?
HintsHow many pieces of each fruit are there? For example, here we would be adding 2 + 2.
You can then use a number line to find the total like this.
2 + 2 = 4
It is a good idea to start adding with the larger number.
SolutionThis number line shows us how to find the total amount of fruit in the mango and peach smoothie.
 We would start by finding 7 on the number line as this is the larger number.
 We could then count 2 jumps forwards.
 We land on 9.
 Therefore, there are 9 pieces of fruit in this smoothie.
 Alternatively, we could have started at 2 and counted 7 jumps forwards. We would still land on 9.
 We would start by finding 13 on the number line as this is the larger number.
 We could then count 5 jumps forwards.
 We land on 18.
 Therefore, there are 18 pieces of fruit in this smoothie.
 Alternatively, we could have started at 5 and counted 13 jumps forwards. We would still land on 18.
 We would start by finding 11 on the number line as this is the larger number.
 We could then count 2 jumps forwards.
 We land on 13.
 Therefore, there are 13 pieces of fruit in this smoothie.
 Alternatively, we could have started at 2 and counted 11 jumps forwards. We would still land on 13.
 We would start by finding 9 on the number line as this is the larger number.
 We could then count 5 jumps forwards.
 We land on 14.
 Therefore, there are 14 pieces of fruit in this smoothie.
 Alternatively, we could have started at 5 and counted 9 jumps forwards. We would still land on 14.

Can you help Mr. Squeaks and Imani with their recipes?
HintsIf you were adding 5 + 4, you would find number 5 and then count 4 jumps forwards to reach the answer, 9.
Start at the larger number and count on with the smaller number.
SolutionThese are the totals Mr. Squeaks and Imani were looking for!
 For smoothie number one, we were adding 15 + 3 to find the total ingredients.
 First, we find 15 on the number line.
 We then count 3 jumps forwards.
 We will land on 18 so that is our answer.
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 To find the total ingredients for smoothie number two, we needed to add 7 + 6 to get a total of 13.
 To find the total ingredients for smoothie number three, we needed to add 8 + 9 to get a total of 17.
 To find the total ingredients for smoothie number four, we needed to add 12 + 7 to get a total of 19.
 To find the total ingredients for smoothie number five, we needed to add 11 + 9 to get a total of 20.
Remember:
 It doesn't matter which number we start with when we are adding but it is often a good idea to start with the larger number so you can do fewer jumps.

How many berries do they have?
HintsHow many blueberries did Mr. Squeaks have? This is your starting number. We are starting with this number because it is the biggest number.
How many raspberries did Imani bring? This is the number you are adding on.
Use the jumps on the number line to help you to find the total number of berries.
SolutionThey have eleven berries altogether.
 Mr. Squeaks had 8 blueberries.
 Imani brought 3 raspberries.
 Using a number line to help us, we start at 8 and count on 3 more.
 We land on 11 so that is our answer.
 This problem could also be solved by starting at 3 and counting 8 jumps forwards.
 We would still land on 11 if we did it this way.

Can you help Mr. Squeaks with his challenge?
HintsIt is a good idea to start with the larger number when adding.
Can you use your knowledge of number bonds? For example, what pairs of numbers do you know that equal 10?
SolutionHere are the different ways to make 10, 15 and 20 from this problem.
For example:
 To find the answer for 12 + 8:
 We could find 12 on the number line.
 We could then jump forwards 8 spaces.
 We will land on 20 so that is our answer.