ALEX Lesson Plan


Who is the Greatest?

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Summer Payne
System: Mobile County
School: Pearl Haskew Elementary
The event this resource created for:CCRS
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33125


Who is the Greatest?


Students will gain more conceptual understanding of comparing 3-digit numbers. They will build numbers using base ten blocks and a hundreds chart and work with a partner to decide which number is greater. They will be making decisions about which place value to put the digits in to construct the greatest number.

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
MA2019 (2019)
Grade: 2
6. Explain that the three digits of a three-digit number represent amounts of hundreds, tens, and ones.

a. Explain the following three-digit numbers as special cases: 100 can be thought of as a bundle of ten tens, called a "hundred," and the numbers 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900 refer to one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine hundreds (and 0 tens and 0 ones).
Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • use concrete materials to bundle groups of 10 to represent numbers (including 100, 200, 300) as bundles of one hundred with no tens and no ones.
  • describe multiples of 100 using words that include the number of groups of a hundred as a unit.
  • recognize and explain a variety of names for a single quantity up to 1,000 (706 as 706 ones, 70 tens and 6 ones, and 7 hundreds and 6 ones).
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Digit
Students know:
  • vocabulary of the structure of numbers (place value: ones, tens, hundreds, etc.).
  • patterns and regularities that exist in the place value system (ten ones make a ten, ten tens make a hundred, etc.).
Students are able to:
  • represent numbers using a variety of models (physical, visual, and symbolic).
  • explain the relationships among various representations and models of three-digit numbers.
Students understand that:
  • three digit numbers are made up of a variety of base ten representations.
  • one hundred can be thought of as one group of 100, ten groups of 10, or 100 ones.
Diverse Learning Needs:
Essential Skills:
Learning Objectives:
M.2.6.1: Match the number in the ones, tens, and hundreds position to a pictorial representation or manipulative of the value.
M.2.6.2: Represent numbers with multiple concrete models.
Examples: concrete models—base ten blocks, number lines, linking cubes, straw bundles.
M.2.6.3: Count to 1000 by hundreds.
M.2.6.4: Count to 100 by tens.
M.2.6.5: Create groups of 10.
M.2.6.6: Match the numeral in the ones and tens position to a pictorial representation or manipulative of the value.
M.2.6.7: Match the numeral to the number of objects or picture of objects.

Prior Knowledge Skills:
  • Notice same/different and some/all.
  • Recognize numbers from 1-50.
  • Add one to a set of objects (up to 10 objects).
  • Given small groups of objects, create larger groups by combining the small groups.
  • Understand ten and 1 (ten 1's =10).
  • Put together two small groups of objects to create a larger group.
  • Understand number words.
  • Establish one-to-one correspondence between numbers and objects when given a picture a drawing or objects.
  • Rote count to 50 by tens.
  • Rote count to 500 by hundreds.
  • Mimic counting to 100 by tens.
  • Mimic counting to 900 by hundreds.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
M.AAS.2.6 Recognize and represent numbers up to 30 with sets of tens and ones (objects, columns, arrays).

MA2019 (2019)
Grade: 2
9. Compare two three-digit numbers based on the value of the hundreds, tens, and ones digits, recording the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, and < and orally with the words "is greater than," "is equal to," and "is less than."
Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • use place value terminology and concepts to explain and justify the placement of <, =, > to compare two 3-digit numbers and create true equalities and inequalities.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Equalities
  • Inequalities
Students know:
  • how to compare 3-digit numbers using the terminology "greater than," "equal to," and "less than".
Students are able to:
  • compare 3-digit numbers using place value concepts.
  • justify their reasoning as they compare numbers.
Students understand that:
  • the three digits of a 3-digit number represent groups of hundreds, tens, and ones.
Diverse Learning Needs:
Essential Skills:
Learning Objectives:
M.2.9.1: Define greater than, less than and equal to.
M.2.9.2: Compare two two-digit numbers based on meanings of the tens and ones digits, recording the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, and <.
M.2.9.3: Arrange two-digit numbers in order from greatest to least or least to greatest.
M.2.9.4: Identify zero as a place holder in two-digit and three-digit numbers.
M.2.9.5: Model using >, =, and < symbols to record the results of comparisons of two two-digit numbers.
M.2.9.6: Select numbers on a number line that are more than, less than or equal to a specified number.
M.2.9.7: Match the words greater than, equal to and less than to the symbols >, =, and <.
M.2.9.8: Determine the value of the digits in the ones and tens place.
M.2.9.9: Identify sets with more, less or equal objects.

Prior Knowledge Skills:
  • Understand amount words, such as more, less, and another.
  • Become more interested in the concept of some and all.
  • Be interested in who has more or less.
  • Understand the concept of "less than" "more than".
  • Mimic counting by ones.
  • Recognize numbers from one to 100.
  • Become interested in how many objects she/he has.
  • Understand the concept of size and amount.
  • Given a set number of objects one through ten, answer the question "how many?"
  • Pair the number of objects counted with "how many".
  • Understand that the last number name tells the number of objects counted.
  • Establish one-to-one correspondence between numbers and objects when given a picture, a drawing or objects.
  • Pair a group of objects with a number representing the total number of objects in the group.
  • Count objects one-by-one using only one number per object.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
M.AAS.2.9 Using vocalization, sign language, augmentative communication, or assistive technology, compare sets of objects and numbers using appropriate vocabulary (greater than, less than, equal to; limited to thirty objects in a group).

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will construct 3-digit numbers to make the greatest number by deciding what place value to assign each digit. Students will then compare two numbers to decide which number is greater. Students will use the correct symbol to show greater than, less than, or equal to.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

sets of digit cards (attached) OR a set of playing cards per pair, base ten blocks (optional), recording sheet (attached), place value chart (attached)

Technology Resources Needed:

Interactive whiteboard with virtual base ten blocks may be used (optional). To use the virtual base ten blocks you may need a Java update. Check to see if they work on your computer:


Students should have knowledge of 3-digit numbers and place value. Students should be familiar with a place value chart and comparing numbers. This is an activity that could accompany a lesson on place value or comparing numbers.

Make sure links to digit cards and base ten blocks will open on your computer if you choose to use them.



1. Ask students if they would rather have $245 or $175. Explain to a partner why they chose their answer. Let students share their answers or what they discussed with their partner. Discuss the importance of being able to compare numbers. Have students think about times when they would need to compare numbers or quantities.

2. Review greater than >, less than <, and =. Show several examples and have students decide which symbol to place between the numbers.


1. Place students in pairs and give each pair a place value chart (attached), digit cards from, or use a set of playing cards (remove face cards and 10s and use aces as 1s), and base ten blocks (optional). Virtual base ten blocks can be found at

2. Explain to students that the object of the game is to have the greatest 3-digit number.

3. Model playing the game with a student. Each player will draw 3 cards. The cards need to be arranged so that they make the greatest number possible. Do not let your partner see what you are doing. Students can build the number with the base ten blocks if they need a visual.

4. Students will then compare their numbers. The student with the greatest number will say "I am the greatest." That student will get a point. The student with the most points at the end of the playing time wins the game. They will use the recording sheet (attached) to keep track of points and to write comparisons using the symbols <,>, =.

5. After the game, ask the following questions: What strategy did you use when making your 3-digit number? Why did you use that strategy? Did anyone think about it a different way?


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Assessment Strategies

Write your name on an index card and do the following:

Make the greatest 3-digit number with the following digits: 4, 7, 6.

Then, make the smallest 3-digit number using those same digits.

Write the following and fill in the missing symbol:

465 ____ 556            326_____236     234_____234


Have students play the game again making 4-digit numbers.


For students who are struggling with comparing numbers, have them build 2-digit numbers with base ten blocks on a place value chart. As they start to grasp the concept, move back up to 3-digit numbers.

View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.