Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Keeping An Inverse Relationship

Joanne Johnson


Students learn how to identify the inverse relationship of positive and negative numbers using real-world examples.


The student knows the inverse relationship of positive and negative numbers.


-Overhead projector
-Overhead pens
-Overhead of Keeping An Inverse Relationship (See Associated File)
-Answer Key to Keeping An Inverse Relationship (See Associated File)


1. Check the overhead projector for use.
2. Write title and date on the board.
3. Make an overhead of Keeping An Inverse Relationship. (See Associated File)


1. Ask the students to take everything off one of their feet and write down, in order, how they removed the items. Then, have them put the items back on and write down, in order, how they put the items on. Compare both lists and define what inverse relationships are from this activity.

2. Discuss with the class positive and negative numbers. Draw a number line on the board and explain the basic setup of the number line. Label the positive numbers, zero, and negative numbers on the number line. Randomly select positive and negative numbers on the number line, and give examples of their inverse relationships.

3. Have the students group in teams of three. Have each team write directions from their home to their favorite amusement park (or other appropriate location). Collect the directions from each team and distribute them to another group. Have the groups write directions from the amusement park back to the home of the original group. Return the papers to the original groups and have them compare the original directions to the new directions.

4. After each team compares the original and new directions, have volunteer teams present their directions (original and new directions) to the class. Have them explain each inverse relationship of the directions given. Note that the original directions and new directions are inverse relationships.

5. Check with each group to see if every member understands inverse relationships.

6. Have students return to their assigned seats.

7. Have each student take out a sheet of loose-leaf paper and complete the 10 inverse relationship problems from the overhead. (See Associated File) Collect the papers as the students complete the problems.

8. Correct the papers, write the number incorrect out of the number given (for example, 7/10), and return them to the students.

9. Go over each problem with the class, so they can understand their mistakes.


Evidence: Complete 10 problems identifying inverse relationships of positive and negative numbers.

Criteria: Checklist to show that they identified at least 8 out of the 10 problems correctly. (An Answer Key is provided in the associated file.)


Brainstorm other inverse operations with your parents for extra credit points.
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