Lesson plan

Let's Choose Less

More or less? In this hands-on lesson, your students hone important fine motor skills and learn how to compare quantities.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Block Tower Comparison pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Block Tower Comparison pre-lesson.

Students will be able to illustrate an amount that is less when compared to another quantity. Students will be able to compare quantities and determine which has less.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(10 minutes)

Before starting the lesson, write the numbers 1-6 on the six index cards.

  • Show your class your puppet and introduce it as Lesster.
  • Tell them that Lesster loves to compare numbers.
  • Display two number cards and have Lesster "choose" the card with the smaller number on it. Ask your class what they noticed about the number that Lesster chose.
  • Repeat this activity until the students realize that each time, Lesster likes the smaller number. If the class doesn't realize what's happening, give them clues to help. For example: "What is special about the number Lesster chooses? Why does he pick one number instead of the other?"
  • Explain that Lesster only likes numbers that are less than the other number. Define the word less as being smaller or not as much.
(15 minutes)
  • Draw two large boxes on the board.
  • Draw two amounts of objects in the boxes. For example, draw 3 balls in one box and 5 balls in the other.
  • Write the corresponding numeral next to each box.
  • Tell the class which number is less.
  • Remind students what it means if a number is less. For example: "The number that is less is the number that is smaller or not as much."
  • Repeat the illustration, asking the class to tell you which number is less than the other.
(10 minutes)
  • Group your students into pairs of two.
  • Give each pair of students an egg carton and several manipulative counters.
  • Write a number on the board.
  • Tell students to place an amount that is less than the number on the board into the egg carton. Students should use only one counter per egg hole. For example: "Put less than 6 counters in the carton."
  • Check the work of each pair of students.
(10 minutes)
  • Pass out a copy of the Count the Flowers worksheet to each student.
  • Read the instructions aloud to your class. Answer any questions students may have and then instruct your class to complete the worksheet independently.


  • Encourage struggling students to count aloud as they work on their worksheet. Then, have students use counters to recreate the comparisons on the worksheet, pairing each counter from one number to a counter from the other number. Explain that the number with a larger number of counters is more, and the number with a smaller number of counters is less.


  • Give advanced students two egg cartons so they can practice comparing numbers that are larger than 12. For example: Place an amount of counters that is less than 20 into the carton. Encourage students to try comparing numbers without counters to strengthen their abstract concept of quantity.
(5 minutes)
  • Assess each student's Count the Flowers worksheet to gauge whether or not they understand the concept of less.
(5 minutes)
  • Write two numbers on the board.
  • Call a student to the board and give them the fly swatter.
  • Tell them to hit the number that is less with the fly swatter.

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