Guided Lessons

# Less Than or Greater Than Alligators

Your students will learn when to use less than and greater than and how to differentiate the two symbols in this lesson. They will have fun playing the role of the Less Than and Greater Than alligators!

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In Less Than or Greater Than Alligators, children gain practise with the less than and greater than signs. This concept can be tricky, but remembering that the hungry alligator always eats more can help! Included are two adorable alligator printables that represent these symbols for kids to use to solve some maths problems. After working together, young learners will be ready to tackle more problems with Comparing Cupcakes: Less Than and Greater Than and Comparing Flowers: Less Than and Greater Than, two worksheets that are included in this lesson plan!

• Students will be able to identify, discriminate, and use the less than and greater than symbols when comparing groups of items.
(5 minutes)
• Explain to students that today they will learn about the less than and the greater than symbols.
• Define Symbol, or a representation of another thing, to your students.
• Draw and name the less than and the greater than symbols on the board.
• Remind your students that the word LessMeans smaller or fewer, and the word GreaterMeans bigger or more.
• Draw two empty circles on the board, and label them A and B, respectively.
• Explain to students that they can use the less than symbol if the number of items in circle A is less than the number of items in circle B.
• Tell them that they can use the greater than symbol if the number of items in circle A is greater than the number of items in circle B.
(10 minutes)
• Draw two triangles in circle A.
• Draw five triangles in circle B.
• Ask your students to count the number of triangles in each circle.
• Ask your students if the number of triangles in circle A is less than or greater than the number of triangles in circle B.
• Put the less than sign to show your students the symbol in context.
• Draw two empty squares on the board, and label them A and B, respectively.
• Draw 6 balls in square A.
• Draw 3 balls in square B.
• Ask your students to count the number of balls in each square.
• Ask your students if the number of balls in square A is less than or greater than the number of balls in square B.
• Put in the greater than sign.
• Draw two empty pots on the chalkboard, and label them A and B, respectively.
• Within the empty pot labeled A, draw one stick.
• Within the empty pot labeled B, draw four sticks.
• Ask your students to count the number of sticks in each pot.
• Ask your students if the number of sticks in pot A is less than or greater than the number of sticks in pot B.
• Put in the less than sign.
(15 minutes)
• Tell your students that the less than and greater than symbols have the nicknames "Less Than Alligator" and "Greater Than Alligator."
• Explain to students that the symbols are given those names because they look like an alligator's open mouth.
• Hold up the pictures of the alligators and name them the Less Than and the Greater Than Alligators.
• Explain that alligators love to eat, so they open their mouths to the meal.
• Invite two students up to play the role of each alligator.
• Place two bowls on a desk.
• Put two fish in the first bowl and eight fish in the second bowl.
• Direct your students to count the number of fish in each bowl.
• Ask your students if the number of fish in the first bowl is less than or greater than the number of fish in the second bowl.
• Ask your students which alligator they should use to show that the number of fish in the first bowl is less than the number of fish in the second bowl.
• Put seven fish in the first bowl and three fish in the second bowl, and repeat the previous steps.
(10 minutes)
• Give the Comparing Cupcakes: Less Than and Greater Than worksheet to your students, and have them complete it.

Support:Give your students the fish to work with again, and demonstrate the less than or equal to sign individually.

(5 minutes)
(20 minutes)
• Tell your students that the Less Than and Greater Than Alligators don't just like to eat fish and cupcakes; they would eat anything!
• Explain to your students that they will complete an activity to show the use of the Less Than and the Greater Than Alligators.
• Place the two hula hoops on the floor, about three feet apart.
• Gather your students in a semi-circle.
• Select two students to play the roles of the Less Than and Greater Than Alligators, and give each of the two students a puppet to place over his hand.
• Place the two students back to back between the two hula hoops, and instruct them to hold their puppets with the mouths open.
• Explain to all the students that you will put a certain amount of items within each hula hoop and a student will be called upon to remove the alligator that does not belong between the two hula hoops.
• Put two blocks in the first hula hoop and three blocks in the second hula hoop.
• Ask students to count the number of blocks within each hula hoop.
• Call upon a student to remove the alligator (student) that does not show that the number of blocks in the first hula hoop is less than the number of blocks in the second hula hoop.
• Essentially, your students are moving the wrong alligator out of the way to show a correct number statement.
• Continue to change the types of items and the number of items within each hula hoop until each student gets a chance to take part in the activity.