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How Much Colder?

Achievement Objectives:

Achievement Objective: NA4-6: Know the relative size and place value structure of positive and negative integers and decimals to three places.
AO elaboration and other teaching resources


The purpose of this activity is to engage students in comparing positive and negative decimal values to solve a problem.

Description of mathematics: 

The background knowledge and skills that need to be established before and/or during this activity are outlined in the diagram below:

Click to show example questions for each heading

This activity may be carried out with step by step guidance, or by allowing the student to follow their own method of solution. The approach should be chosen in sympathy with students' skills and depth of understanding.



If you were to visit a base station in Antarctica, would the temperature be very different depending on where and when you went?

Use the tables of average daily maximum and minimum temperatures by month for each of the three stations to find the difference between the warmest and the coldest of all these temperatures. 

Tables of data (PDF, 196KB) (accessed from Cool Antarctica).


The arithmetic approach  (show more)

  • The student is able to order and operate on positive and negative decimal numbers, to solve a problem.

The conceptual approach  (show more)

  • The student is able to compare positive and negative decimal numbers, to solve a problem.
AntarcticClimateData.pdf196.13 KB
HowMuchColder_full.pdf542.41 KB
HowMuchColder_arithmetic.pdf193.81 KB
HowMuchColder_conceptual.pdf190.49 KB