Let's Compare Whole Numbers
Students will be able to compare two multi-digit numbers.
- Review the symbols used for comparing numbers ( >, <, = ) with the class.
- Explain to your students, "Today we are going to compare whole numbers using these symbols." Remind students that when we compare numbers we are looking at the difference in value between two (or more) numbers.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Write two numbers on the board (e.g., 2,849 and 2,948).
- Ask students to look at the numbers and share what they notice (i.e., the digits are the same but in a different order; both numbers start with two).
- Read each number aloud and write them in word form.
- Two thousand, eight hundred forty-nine
- Two thousand, nine hundred forty-eight
- Write each number in expanded form (2,000 + 800 + 40 + 9 and 2,000 + 900 + 40 + 8) and point out the value of each digit.
- Show students that, although the value of the digit in the thousands place is the same (2,000), the value of the digit in the hundreds place is different (800 and 900), so the number with the greater value in the hundreds place is greater.
- Make a chart with columns for each place value (thousands, hundreds, tens, and ones) and write one number in the first row and the other number in the second row.
- Remind students that when comparing numbers, we compare the digits from left to right. Then, using the chart, compare each place value, pointing out that when we arrive at a place value in which one digit is greater, that number is greater.
- Write "2,849 < 2,948" on the board.
- Review the ways that you compared the numbers (word form, expanded form, and a place value chart).
Guided Practice(18 minutes)
- Lead students through another example (e.g., 18,362 and 18,632) asking students for input as you compare.
- Give students two numbers to compare (e.g., 4,091 and 4,910). Have students work with a partner and instruct them to compare the numbers using all three strategies you reviewed (word form, expanded form, and a place value chart).
Independent working time(10 minutes)
- Hand out the Let’s Compare worksheet and instruct students to complete it independently.
- Circulate and offer support as needed.
- Provide numbers that vary more significantly so that the comparisons are more obvious (i.e., 1,394 and 6,158).
- Provide additional examples during guided practice.
- Have students apply the skills learned to solve word problems.
- Have students compare three or more numbers and order them greatest to least.
- Write each strategy on a separate index card (word form, expanded form, and a place value chart).
- Use a number generator to generate two numbers, each between 1,000 and 9,999.
- Randomly pull a strategy card and instruct students to compare the two generated numbers using the strategy you pulled.
- Repeat the exercise two or more times and observe student responses.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Play the video "The Less Than Greater Than Song" by Numberock (see related media) to review the concepts taught.