Learning Library

# Hungry Gator Counting

Students will love learning how to compare numbers with Ali the alligator in this fun lesson all about number comparison! Use this as a stand alone lesson or alongside *Comparing Numbers: Marshmallow Math*
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Comparing Numbers: Marshmallow Math lesson plan.

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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Comparing Numbers: Marshmallow Math lesson plan.

Students will be able to compare two numbers between zero and 10 using greater than, less than, or equal to.

##### Language

Students will be able to explain how to compare two numbers using sentence frames and visual supports.

(2 minutes)
• Gather the class together for the lesson.
• Display two groups of items, one obviously smaller than the other (e.g., a group of two and a group of six).
• Ask students to point to the group they think is bigger.
• Say, "Today we will be looking at two numbers to figure out which one is greater than or bigger than the other."
(5 minutes)
• Tell a brief story about a hungry alligator who loved to eat the biggest numbers, "Once there was an alligator named Ali. She loved to eat numbers. Her favorites were the biggest numbers."
• Model Ali identifying the bigger number by writing up two numbers (e.g., four and one). Then, draw an alligator face using the > symbol (make the symbol into a basic alligator head with teeth, eyes, etc.). Show how Ali always eats the biggest of the two numbers. Repeat with a second set of numbers, this time saying the number sentence aloud, "Ali eats four because it is greater than one."
• Repeat this process, this time modeling how to say the sentence as, "One is less than four."
• Explain that when we compare two numbers we can use the math words greater than or less than to describe the numbers. The greater number is always bigger and the less number is always smaller.
(5 minutes)
• Explain that now students will practice comparing numbers as a group.
• Write two numbers on the board and model counting out each number using math manipulatives or drawing dots and then asking students to point to the greater number. Remind students that Ali likes to eat the greater number and have them make the > or < symbol with their hands to show which way she is opening her mouth.
• Write up the whole number sentence (e.g., 5 > 2) and have the students repeat if after you, "Five is greater than two."
• Pass out two number cards (written on index cards) to students and have them stand in front of the class. Ask the students to turn and talk to share the greater number wth a partner. Then, have students point to the number they think is greater. Invite a third student to come up and hold the correct < or > card (written on index cards) between the two numbers. As a group, practice saying the sentence aloud.
• Ask students to turn and talk to a partner to answer the question, "How do I know which number is greater/less than the other number?"
• Invite groups to share their ideas using the sentence frame, "I know a number is greater than or less than another number by ____."
(15 minutes)
• Display the Greater Gator worksheet and go over the instructions.
• Pass out math manipulatives for students to use when completing the worksheet.
• When finished, have students turn and talk to compare their worksheet to their partner. Have each pair practice saying the number sentence aloud.

Beginning

• Allow students to count in their home language (L1).
• Work with a smaller group of students to practice comparing two numbers, writing the sentence, and saying it aloud.

• Invite students to write their own comparison number sentences and trade them with a partner. Have each pair practice reading them aloud.
• Encourage students to practice making comparison number sentences using numbers 11-20.
(5 minutes)
• Take anecdotal notes of student discussions to assess if students are able to accurately compare two numbers using appropriate strategies.
• Collect work samples to formerly assess students' ability to compare numbers.
• Complete a quick assessment at the end of the class using the whiteboard challenge.
(3 minutes)
• Gather the class back together and hold up two numbers written on index cards.
• Ask students to write a comparison number sentence on their mini whiteboard and hold it up.
• As a group practice saying the number sentence aloud.

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