Fun with More, Less and Equal

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Student will be able to compare groups using the words more, less and equal.

Big Idea

Students have been introduced to the concepts of more, less and equal. Now it's time to have some fun with them.


7 minutes

For the lesson today, you will need the comparing dice activity sheet (one for every two students), 6-sided dice (one for every two students) for the first activity.  For the second activity, you will need decks of cards with jacks, queens and kings removed (one for every two students). I divide the class in half for the two activities so I only need enough materials for half of my students.

I ask the students if they remember what we worked with yesterday...hopefully they do!!  They answer, "more and less".  A few students add, "and equal".  That's right.  We worked with more, less and equal. 

For a quick review, I call up two girls and four boys to the front of the class.  I ask the students.  Are there less boys or girls? 

After they respond, I restate their answer as a sentence, That's right.  There are less girls than boys.  How about are there more boys or girls?  After the response, I again restate their answer saying, There are more boys than girls. 

I have these students sit down and I call up two boys and two girls.  I ask the students, What can I say about this group?  After they respond, I repeat their answer saying, That's right. There are an equal number of boys and girls. 

Today we are going to have some fun with more and less.  We are going to play two games. 

Game 1

The first one is a dice game.  I pick a student to demonstrate how to play the game with me.  We sit at a table and the students gather around the table so they can all see.

My partner and I have a recording sheet and a die.  We each write our name at the top (Have student write their name on the top and then do the same).

My partner is player 1.  I am player 2.  My partner will roll the dice.  She got a two.  Okay, go ahead and roll.  She is going to color in the circles on the first die under player 1 so it looks just like their die.  Excellent!

Now it's my turn.  I roll and get a four.  I will now color in four circles so it looks just like my die.  Now we need to decide who got less.  She had two and I had four.  So, player one has less.  She circles the die and we play again.

If we both get the same number, we do not circle either die.  That means that the numbers we rolled were equal.

We keep going like this until we get to the bottom of the sheet.  We count up how many "less" we each had.  Whoever had "less" the most is the winner.  We can then start again on the other side of the paper.

What do we always do when we finish a game?  We say "good game" and we shake hands.  When everyone is a good sport, games are more fun.

Game 2  (This game is like the classic card game war...we call it MORE!!)

For this game you need a deck of cards.  I tool all the jacks, queens and kings out of the deck.  The Ace...the card with the letter A (show the card to the students) is the same as one.  I pick a new student to play with me for the demonstration.

I shuffle the cards and deal them.  One to my partner, one to me, one to my partner, one to me.  I continue until all the cards are dealt.

We then put our cards in a neat pile.  I turn over a card and so does my partner.  Whoever has the biggest card is the winner of this hand.  They get to keep the cards.  They go on the bottom of their pile.  My partner has a seven and I have a three, so he gets to keep the cards.

We demonstrate a few more times.  If we both turn over cards that are the same number, we call "Equal" and we then put two cards in front of us face down.  We each take one more card.  Whoever has the bigger card calls MORE and they get the pile of cards to add to theirs.

This continues until someone ends up with all the cards.


30 minutes

After I demonstrate the games, I partner the students up.  I try to create groups that have at least one student who has a good understanding of the concept in each group.   I divide the class in half and put students who are playing the same game near each other so they are able to answer questions. 

I give the students about 10-15 minutes to play each game.  The students' stamina for staying on task determines the amount of time we spend on each activity.

These types of activities really build the students' skill level.  They are given multiple opportunities to practice the skill and connect with it in a positive way.  For example, the students quickly picked up on the MORE game and asked to play it during their free time.   I love to see them practicing their skills outside of the structured math lesson time.