Lesson plan

Understand absolute value as distance from zero by comparing it to opposite value

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.6.NS.C.5 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/NS/C/5
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.6.NS.C.6a http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/NS/C/6/a
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.6.NS.C.7 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/NS/C/7
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.6.NS.C.7c http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/NS/C/7/c
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP2 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP2
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP3 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP3

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Big Ideas: Absolute value is a number's distance from zero. This lesson builds on students' work with finding and interpreting numbers' absolute values and with finding opposites. The task presents students with invented machines that calculate either absolute value or opposite value. Students must evaluate the needs of customers coming to use the machines and decide whether a situation is an application of absolute value or of finding the opposite value. They then analyze how absolute value impacts the signs and the ordering of rational numbers. By comparing and contrasting the purposes and results of absolute value and opposite value, students distinguish the two concepts and emphasize the relationship between absolute value and distance. The mathematical concepts in this lesson build toward students' future work with absolute value, magnitude, distance, and functions in grades 6-8. Vocabulary: absolute value, distance, magnitude, opposite, positive, negative, debt, elevation, sea level