Lesson Plan:

Making Bigger & Smaller Numbers

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October 24, 2016
by Lily Jones
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October 24, 2016
by Lily Jones

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to compare three-digit numbers.


Introduction (10 minutes)

Write the number 493 on the board. Ask students to identify how many ones, tens, and hundreds are in the number.

Now write the number 394 on the board. Again ask students to identify how many ones, tens, and hundreds are in the number.

Ask which number is bigger. Call on students to explain their answers. Write a number sentence using the > sign to show which number is bigger.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (5 minutes)

Tell students that they will be working in pairs to compare three-digit numbers. Explain that each student will write a three-digit number on their individual whiteboard. When they have both finished writing their numbers, they will turn around their boards on the count of three. The students will then work together to figure out which number is bigger. After each round of the game, students will write number sentences using the >, <, or = signs.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)

Call up a student to be your partner and model how to play the game. Make sure to demonstrate how to record your results.

Independent Working Time (20 minutes)

Pass out whiteboards to students and pair them up. Circulate the room as partners play the game, providing support as needed.



  • Support: Provide sentence stems for students to fill out: __ > ___
  • Enrichment: Have students compare four numbers. Each partner can come up with two numbers and then they can work together to order them from smallest to largest.



As you circulate the room, monitor the students’ recording sheets to make sure they are accurately comparing numbers and using the correct symbols.

Review and Closing (5 minutes)

Call on a few pairs to share some of their comparisons with the class.

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