August 28, 2015
by Molly Stahl

Lesson plan

Comparing Numbers: Marshmallow Math

(1 rating )
Download lesson plan

Students will be able to compare two numbers between 0 and 10 using greater than, less than, or equal to.

(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute the Fruity Number Fun worksheet and read the directions aloud.
  • Check these worksheets for correctness.
(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.

How likely are you to recommend to your friends and colleagues?

Not at all likely
Extremely likely

What could we do to improve

Please note: Use the Contact Us link at the bottom of our website for account-specific questions or issues.

What would make you love

What is your favorite part about