Although the number 9 is greater than 6, -9, or negative 9, is actually less than 6, or positive 6. The reason for this is that -9 is negative. All numbers to the left of 0 are negative and are actually smaller than 0.
To understand that something can be smaller than 0 think of temperature. When it is -9 degrees outside it is actually colder than it would be if it were 0 degrees. That number, -9 degrees, is smaller than 0 degrees.
So the farther to the left of zero we go the smaller the numbers get. In fact, even when we are on the positive side of the number line, numbers get smaller as we go to the left. 5 is less than 6, and 4 is less than 5, and so on. So then the answer to the exercise above is that -9 is less than 6.
Above you learned that the farther to the left you go on a number line the smaller the numbers get. Look at the numbers in the mini-movie below and imagine a number line like the one above. To correctly order the integers from least to greatest, put the number farthest to the left first and the number farthest to the right last. Here are a couple more things to remember: