An introduction to negative numbers illustrated by a lift travelling down past zero at ground level to negative 3 in the basement. The use of negative numbers in a scale or sequence is demonstrated.

First broadcast:
14 September 2007

Lots of activities can help to consolidate children's understanding of negative numbers. A useful starting point is to use a counting stick with a clearly labelled zero, counting forwards and backwards in ones. With access to a stair case, children could step up and down whilst counting in ones. Children could roll dice to determine how many steps they take up and down the stairs. Using a bag of positive and negative number cards, children could pick them out and decide whether they are larger or smaller than the previous number.