Comparing Numbers: Marshmallow Math
Students will be able to compare two numbers between 0 and 10 using greater than, less than, or equal to.
Introduction (5 minutes)
- At your group meeting area, choose two students for a demonstration.
- Give each student a paper plate and some marshmallows, or other manipulative, making sure they do not get the same amount.
- Ask students who has more or less marshmallows and how they know.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)
- Tell students that they have just compared numbers, which is what today's lesson is all about.
- Watch Urple and Burple.
- Stop occasionally to talk about how many of each object Urple and Burple have and who has more of each.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)
- After the story, introduce the vocabulary: greater than, less than, and equal to using the reference posters.
- Using the marshmallows, or other manipulatives, show examples of greater than, less than, and equal to.
- Once you have modeled a few examples, invite students to make the symbols with their hands to compare the two groups. Repeat as needed.
- Show students how to make the cereal holders using marshmallows by sticking 1 toothpick in each marshmallow and then placing cereal onto the toothpick.
- Remind students that they are using the marshmallows and cereal as tools to compare two numbers.
- Model using the cereal to show a number on each of the toothpicks and recording it on the recording sheet.
- Then ask students what symbol should go in between the two models. Model writing the symbol in between the two marshmallows on the worksheet.
Independent Working Time (15 minutes)
- Back at students’ seats, pass out the Comparing Numbers with Marshmallows worksheet and prepared paper plate to each student.
- Circulate the room to guide students and check for understanding.
- Enrichment: Give advanced students verbal queues for them to determine greater numbers. The Comparing Numbers Quiz is a good way to do this.
- Support: Give struggling students the Comparing Numbers worksheet for their assessment.
Related Books and/or Media
- VIDEO: Comparing Numbers Song by Education.com.
Assessment (10 minutes)
- Distribute the Fruity Number Fun worksheet and read the directions aloud.
- Check these worksheets for correctness.
Review and Closing (5 minutes)
- Ask students how they would go about comparing two numbers.
- Invite students to show you the signs for greater than, less than, and equal to with their hand movements.