More, Less, and Equal

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Students will be able to compare two groups of objects and tell whether one group has more or less or if they groups are equal.

Big Idea

Students do well with the concept of more. Less is somewhat more challenging. This lesson pushes the students further by combing both concepts and also adding the concept of equal.


10 minutes

This SMARTBoard lesson builds on a kindergarten student's ability to count and compare numbers.  Prior to this lesson, the students would have exposure to comparing objects in a group by matching the items from one group to another.  The vocabulary of "greater than" and "less than" has not been formally introduced at this point.  This lesson is to build upon the more familiar vocabulary of "more", "less" and "equal".  The activity at the end of the lesson will serve as an informal assessment of students understanding of the skill.

To begin the lesson, we reread the stories Greedy Gordy and Greedy Gordy Goes on a Diet that are included with this lesson as a PDF.  The stories were also used in the proceeding lessons on "more" and "less".  The stories can be printed with a colored printer and laminated for durability.  I bind my stories with a comb binding machine, but book rings or stapling would also work to bind the books.

I gather the students around my big chair and I bring out the Greedy Gordy book.  We talk a bit about Gordy.  I say to the students, Do you remember what it means to be greedy?  That's right.  It means to want more.  Let's reread our story and see if we can determine which group has more.  I invite students to come up and put Gordy on the group that has more.  

After we reread Greedy Gordy,  I then bring out Greedy Gordy Goes on a Diet.  I ask the students,what did the doctor tell Gordy he needed to do?  That's right.  He said he needed to eat less.  Now we are going to find which group has less.  I read the story for the students, asking individuals to come up and move Gordy to the group that has less. 

After we finish reading the story, we move over to the SMARTBoard to continue our lesson.

Direct Instruction

15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use my SMARTBoard.  If you have a SMARTBoard, the More, Less, and Equal can easily be downloaded and opened.  If you have a different type of interactive whiteboard, you can still use this lesson by opening the file in Smart Notebook Express.  Click here to download. There is also a pdf so you can recreate this part of the lesson.

I gather my students in front of the Smartboard.  I have cards with each student's name on.  These cards are used for selecting who will come up to the Smartboard.

I open the first slide (SMARTBoard Slide 1) with the lesson objective written in "student friendly" terms.  There is a content objective and a language objective to help focus on vocabulary expansion for my English Learners (ELs) to be congruent with SIOP instructional techniques.  I read these objectives aloud for my students.


Content Objective
I can compare the number of objects in two groups.

Language Objective
When talking to a friend, I can use the words more, less or equal to compare the objects in two groups 


I then guide the students my students through the following slides.

Slide 2:  I call up groups of students 5-6 at a time.  Ask the students questions, i.e.-Are there more boys or girls?  After asking the question, I restate in a sentence:  "There are more boys than girls."  Do this several times to give the students exposure to the vocabulary of more, less and equal.

Slide 3:  When we use the word more, it means the number of objects is bigger or greater.
I invite students to arrange the frogs and fish into groups to make counter easier.  I have them help me determine if there are more frogs or fish.  There are more frogs than fish.

Slide 4:  When we use the word less, it means the number of objects is smaller or fewer.
Again invite student to help arrange in groups to assist in counting.  Count to determine if there are less fish than frogs.   There are less fish than frogs.

Slide 5:  Are there more dogs or cats?  Remind students that they can rearrange the pictures in groups to make comparing easier.  Have student circle correct answer on right.  That's right.  There are more dogs than cats.  I always put the answer into a complete sentence for the students to help them practice their academic language.  The number of dogs is bigger or greater than the number of cats. 

Slide 6:  Are there more bananas or apples? Remind students that they can rearrange the pictures in groups to make comparing easier.  Have student circle correct answer on right.  Continue discussing why it is the correct answer.

Slide 7:  I tell the students that we are now going to focus on less.  Are there less cars or bicycles? Have student circle correct answer on right.  That's right.  We know there are less bicycles than cars because the number of bicycles is smaller than the number of cars. 

Slide 8:  Are there less chairs or tables?  Student should again circle the answer on the right. 

Slide 9:  Are there less shirts or pants? This is a trick answer for the students as the number is equal.  We discuss it further in the next slide.

Slide 10:  The number of pants and shirts was the same.  When this happens we say it is equal.  The students sometime struggle with the vocabulary "equal".  They understand the word same, but equal is not as familiar of a word.  I often give several examples....holding up fingers....calling up boys and girls...etc. just to give them opportunity to use the word.

Slide 11: What can you say about the number of hearts and stars?  I give all the students the time to count and compare the two groups.  The groups are the same, so what do we say they are?  That's right...equal!

Slide 12:  It is now Turn and Talk time.  The students get a chance to practice their academic language.  I ask them to hold hands with their assigned turn and talk partner and lift their hand in the air so I know that everyone has a partner.  I say,  Now turn to a friend and tell them if there are more or less balls than jump ropes.   I give them time to talk with their partner, then I ask them to say on the count of three if there are more or less.  We say together, there are more balls than jump ropes. 

After we complete that slide, I invite the students to return to their seats for guided practice.  Do not close out of the SMARTBoard lesson.  It is needed for the next part of the instruction.

Guided Practice

7 minutes

For this part of the lesson, I prepare small Dixie cups with 6 red/yellow counters, one for each student.  I give the cups to the students and ask them to take out one of the counters and place the cup with the rest of the counters on their name tag on the table.  You will need the final four slides of the Smartboard Notebook file that is included in the previous lesson section.  Included is a pdf of the slides.

Slide 13:  I have a container with 6 red and yellow counters.  I shook the counters, poured them out and this is what it looked like.

Slide 14:  I can arrange the counters to compare. I put all the red together and then all the yellow.  I want to see which color has more. I count them and then I color in the box with the color that has more. I demonstrate how to move the colored box to indicate the color that has more.  

Slide 15:  I can arrange the counters to compare. I want to see which color has more and which one has less. I want you to hold up the side of the counter that has more.  Now show me the side that has less. I can color in the box to show which one has more and which one has less.  Even if I can't read the words, I can tell that the more box has the big Gordy and the less box has the small Gordy.  I demonstrate how to move the colored boxes into the correct places. 

Slide 16:  Let's try another one.  I need the counters arranged so they are easier to compare.  Hold up your counter...uh oh...I think we have a problem.  There are the same number of red and yellow counters.  They are equal.   Since they are equal, we will not color in either box.

Now you will have a chance to work with your own counters and compare them.

Independent Practice and Informal Assessment

10 minutes

For this part of the lesson, the students will need the Dixie cup of red and yellow counters from the previous section.  You will also need the activity sheet, included as a PDF with this lesson.

I have the students get out a red and yellow crayon.  I distribute the recording sheet to the student and have them write their name on the sheet, put their pencil down and listen for instructions. 

I tell the students, You will now get a chance to practice comparing, using more, less and equal.  We are going to do the exact same thing that we just did on the Smartboard. You will shake the counters in your cup and arrange them by color  Put all the red together and then all the yellow together.  Color in the circles to match.  Color the boxes in showing which one has more and which one has less.  If it is equal, do not color in a box.  Just leave it blank.

As the students complete the activity, I have them bring it up for me to check.  I can quickly assess who understands the concept and who needs additional practice.