Comparing Integers on a Number Line
An integer is any whole number (0, 1, 2, 3, . . .) or its opposite. A good way to compare
integers is with a number line, which is used to represent positive and negative numbers
in order. A number line looks like this:
The farther a number is to the right on a number line, the greater the number. The farther
a number is to the left on a number line, the smaller the number.
PROCEDURE: To compare integers on a number line, simply place your values on
the line, with positive numbers to the right of zero and negative numbers to the
left of zero. The number that is the farthest to the right is the greatest number.
The number that is the farthest to the left is the smallest number.
SAMPLE PROBLEM: Which is greater, -8 or -3?
Step 1: Draw your number line and select a point for 0. Then fill in the integer
values on the line.
Step 2: Place the integers you are comparing on the number line.
Because both numbers are negative, they will both be to the left of zero.
Because -3 is farther to the right than -8, -3 is greater than -8.