Lesson Plan:

Thermometer Subtraction: Number Line Adventures

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August 7, 2015
by Ginger Bruster

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to subtract two digit numbers from each other. Students will be able to identify hot and cold temperatures.


Introduction (5 minutes)

  • Tell your students that they will be practicing subtraction using a thermometer (a device that measures temperature) number line.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (5 minutes)

  • Ask your students if they are familiar with thermometers. Potential discussion questions include: Where have you seen a thermometer? What does it do? Why do you think the red line on the thermometer moves?
  • Make sure that your students know that when the temperature is hot, the red line on the thermometer goes up. When it gets cooler, the red line goes down.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)

  • Hand out the Thermometer Subtraction worksheet.
  • Go over the worksheet together as a class.
  • Direct your students to color in the high temperature on each of the three problems with a red crayon or colored pencil.
  • Have your students write number sentences to go with each of the three thermometer math problems.
  • Ask your students to write down the correct temperature to the subtraction problem.
  • When your students are finished, pass out the Hot or Cold? worksheet for students to complete on their own.

Independent Working Time (5 minutes)

  • Have your students complete the Hot or Cold? worksheet on their own.
  • Direct them to determine what kind of temperature goes with each picture.
  • Refer to personal experiences of wearing lots of clothes in cold weather to illustrate temperature.



  • Enrichment: Have your students create their own thermometers on paper, and instruct them to label the lines of temperature. They may use their thermometers as number lines for future math activities.
  • Support: Pair your students up during the independent worksheet time. Have one student identify the numbers on the thermometer, and have the other subtract.


Assessment (5 minutes)

  • As your students are working on the two worksheets, walk around and make sure that they are completing them accurately.

Review and Closing (5 minutes)

  • Go over the Hot or Cold? worksheet together to make sure your students understand the concept of temperature.
  • Ask them to come up with other hot and cold situations.

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