Lesson 5: Comparing Numbers

Getting Started

Questions to Explore

  • Why do we compare numbers?
  • How can we compare numbers?
  • What is the language of math?

Facts and Definitions

  • Symbol: an image or picture that stands for words
  • > : symbol meaning "greater than"
  • < : symbol meaning "less than"
  • = : symbol meaning "equal to"


  • Reason abstractly and quantitatively
  • Model with mathematics
  • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
  • Communicate mathematical ideas, reasoning, and their implications using multiple representations, including symbols, diagrams, graphs, and language as appropriate


  • More or Less by Stuart J. Murphy
  • colored pencils or markers
  • computer keyboard
  • construction paper (kit)
  • glue or glue stick
  • index cards (kit)
  • Interactive Notebook
  • newspaper: weather or sports section
  • number cards (kit)
  • scissors


Materials: number cards (kit)
This lesson focuses on using mathematical language (greater than, less than, equal to) and symbols (>, <, =) to compare numbers. To begin, ask your child to name some numbers that are bigger than 10. Now, ask, "What about some numbers that are smaller than 20?" and "What about some numbers that are bigger than 10 AND smaller than 20?"

Now, give your child a random selection of 12 number cards 1-100, and tell her to put them in order from least to greatest.