How to Make a Number Line Using PowerPoint

Do you want to know how to make a number line using PowerPoint? I will tell you how. But first, why do we need number lines? Number lines are powerful tools for students to visualize a topic. It can be used in any operation, whether addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. Making them may seem a little tedious and that may set us off to not use it.

Step-by-step Guide

1. Setting up your PowerPoint Slide

The first thing you would like to do is to open PowerPoint. Choose the layout you want. (Portrait or Landscape)

PowerPoint Setup

2. Adding your line

Now, go to shapes and choose the line shape. Using your mouse draw the line of your number line. Press the shift key while doing this to make sure you have a straight line

How to make a line

3. Adding marks or intervals on the number line

The next thing you would want to do is to insert small line segments to mark your number line. These will serve as your marks. To make sure that you have the same-sized tick marks, just make one and duplicate the mark. (Tip: Use CTRL + D for PC or Command + D for Mac) Duplicate as many as you need.

4. Aligning the marks or intervals

Then, it’s time for you to align your marks. Place the first mark on the left end of the number line. Place the last mark on the right end of the number line. Select all of the marks. Click on Align > Distribute Horizontally. This helps you have equally-sized marks so it’s important to set up where you want the first and last tick marks.

Now, select all of the marks plus the number line, and click Align > Align Middle.


5. Labelling the number line

To label your number line, add text boxes underneath the tick marks. Duplicate (CTRL + D or Command + D) the text box depending on how many you need. Now to align your tick marks and text boxes, select the text box and tick mark you want to align. Click on Align > Align Center.

Adding Labels to a Number Line

6. Formatting the number line

If you want to make a few more modifications to your number line, you can adjust the size, the thickness, and the size of the arrows at both ends. Simply select the line and under the Shape Format tab click on Format Pane. Here, you can change the color and thickness of the line. You may also adjust the size and type of arrow for your number line.

Format Number Line
Format Number Line

Tips and Tricks on How to Make a Number Line

Now that you’ve made your number line. You may want to save it! Click on File > Save or press CTRL + S on your keyboard.

1. Save as a Template

But what if you want to reuse your number line? You can also opt to save it as a template. Click on File > Save as Template and give it a file name. This way, the next time you want to make a number line, you already have a layout for it. All you need to do is to change up the numbers.

Save number line as a template

2. Save as Image

Now, I know there are times that you want to copy and paste it to another presentation or even use it as an image. To have your number line available as an image, select all of the elements on your number line including the tick marks and the text boxes. Group them by right clicking on all of the selected elements and choose group.

Group elements

Once they are grouped, right click again and choose save as picture. Choose where to save your number line and type in a file name. Once you have this as an image, you can use it in other file types like DOC or even Google Slides!

What activities can I make using a number line?

Number lines are great visualization tools! I love using them in my class. It helps students understand various topics such as multiplication, division, and even comparing fractions!

Here are some of my favorite activities to incorporate them for an even better understanding of math concepts.

1. Multiplication activities

Number Line Multiplication
Number line multiplication

I love using number lines to show multiplication. Students learn that they can do skip counting to help them multiply. It is even better when paired with word problems that show movement.

For example, A rabbit hops 4 times. It moves 3 inches for each hop. How many inches did the rabbit move? When presented this way, students will be able to visualize the hops to show their multiplication.

2. Division activities

Number line division
Division number line

Much like multiplication, division is also best shown when on a number line. Number lines can show that you jump back with division. Similar to multiplication, students can better visualize division with word problems related to length or movement.

3. Comparing Fractions Activities

Compare and Order Fractions
Compare and Order Fractions

Number lines are helpful when comparing fractions, especially with benchmarks of zero, one-half, and one. My students can better visualize whether a fraction is closer to each benchmark when using number lines. This way, it makes it easier for them to compare the fractions.

These are just some activities that use number lines. Are you looking for some more resources? Check out my store on TPT!