Feed the Gator

A. Wills
Multiple Subject Teacher

Students will compare numbers with three or more digits using visual cues.

Grade Level: 2 - 4th

Subject: Math

Length of Time: About 20 Minutes (depends on # of problems)

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Objectives & Outcomes

Students will be able to successfully identify greater than, less than, and equal to in sets of numbers with at least 80% accuracy.

Materials Needed

  • Index cards (each card should have a three digit number on it, have at least 10 cards per student)
  • Alligator set (per student). See attached.


Opening to Lesson

Ask students if they know/remember what the words greater than, less than, and equal to mean. Give the following examples to check for understanding: (Write each problem and solution on the board).

  • Is 50 greater than or less than 75?
  • Is 92 less than or greater than 22?
  • Is 453 less than, equal to or greater than 453?
  • Is 679 less than, equal to, or greater than 758?

Point to the symbols on the board (the answers). Tell students that the symbol for less than or greater than looks like an alligator ready to eat the bigger number. Alligators love to eat the biggest thing available. When the numbers are equal the equal sign is used, meaning the alligator does not want either number or is confused about which to eat.

Body of Lesson

Have a stack of index cards with three digit numbers ready for each student. Give each student at least 10 cards. The cards should be different for each student. Tell students to lay out a pair on their desk and place the correct alligator between them. Check each student before doing the next set. Tell students that they are going to try a few more on their own.


The last few problems will be displayed one by one on the board. Choose a random set of three digit numbers and write them on the board. Have students hold up the correct alligator to solve the problem. Repeat for as many numbers as necessary to make sure students understand.

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Assessment & Evaluation

Students will show understanding demonstrating a knowledge of less than, greater than, and equal to with three digit numbers on either side.

Modification & Differentiation

Use simplified numbers for struggling students.

Download Attachments

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