Total Duration: 
61 to 90 Minutes 
Materials and Resources: 
US Climate Data website: The lesson will utilize this website throughout the lesson's activities. This website would work in a computer lab, with personal devices, or on the projector. Paper, pencil 1 notecard per student (exit card) Individual copies of worksheets per student: Comparing Decimals worksheet (attached) Rounding Decimals worksheet (attached) Exit cards (see attached document) Link to more biome information: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/biome/ Link for the image of US and impact of oceans, land, and distance from equator: http://www.richhoffmanclass.com/images/chapter8/air_mass_source_regions.jpg Link to map of the United States, states are labeled: http://www.statemapsonline.com/images/usa/UnitedStatesofAmericaBrightColorStateMap.jpg Link to climate website: http://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/unitedstates/us Click on Alabama  average annual rainfall is listed at the bottom/left of the page Click on any city  the average annual rainfall is the fourth measurement on the right/top of the page Click on Montgomery rainfall data is the third measurement and is listed by month at the top left 
Technology Resources Needed: 
Computers, iPads, personal smart devices, or teacher computer and projector 
Background/Preparation: 
Technology Students need to be able to log in to the website. Once on the site, they will be required to find data from different towns and states, then navigate back to the original site. If they cannot do this, they can partner up or the teacher can lead the entire activity with a projector. Scientific Background Students learned about climates and regions of the Earth in second grade. Fifth grade has a large focus on biomes and ecosystems, especially how two systems interact to support life and influence climate. This would fit perfectly toward the end of that unit. If not, a minilesson looking at the map provided demonstrates clearly that land masses close to water will tend to be wet. Masses closer to the equator tend to be warmer. This is simply giving a real world application to the comparing of decimals. An understanding of biomes and rainfall is not necessary to successfully doing this activity. Background Information on Biomes: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/biome/ Comparing Decimals Students should understand that when working with decimals, they line up the decimals. Working from left to right, compare the tens' place, ones' place, tenths' place, etc. When you find two digits that are different, the number with the largest digit is the largest number. This activity is for practice on a new skill. For example: 12.34 _______ 12.43 Both have 12 as a whole number, so move to the tenths' place. The first number has 3 tenths and the second number has 4 tenths. Because 4 tenths is larger, 12.43 is larger. Clarify that because we read from left to right, you always say the first number first. If it is the larger of the two, > means ‘greater than.’ If the first number is the smallest, use < to mean the first number is ‘less than’ the second number. Students need to read their answers aloud as much as possible, to ensure they are reading the numbers correctly. If students are struggling reading the answer aloud, write the number sentence out in word form. Rounding Decimals Students should understand how to round numbers. At this point, they should be comfortable rounding to the nearest whole number and hopefully the tenths/hundredths place. It is for practice and/or moving an old skill into a new place by adding thousandths. The lowest fifth graders go is thousandths, and they would round to hundredths place. Once students understand the rule, they could challenge each other to go very low. The goal is for them to realize that at that point they are talking about water vapor and it is insignificant. If students have not rounded decimals yet, they need to review that the rule (five and higher rounds up) still applies when rounding parts of a whole number. Underline the place requested, then look at the digit to the right. If it's a 5 or higher, up it goes and everything behind it becomes a 0. If it's a 04, it stays the same and all following digits become a 0. For example: Round to the nearest hundredth place. 12.166 becomes 12.170 whereas 12.163 becomes 12.160 If students are not comfortable rounding, this could be done an additional day, then revisit the website for more practice. 
Before Review biomes as a whole class discussion.
During: Step 1  Compare  Use Comparing Decimals worksheet (see attachments) URL http://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/unitedstates/us Whole group:
Small group (Mine are always seated with a variety of high/medium/low learners in groups of 4. This is probably a better activity for pairs or groups of three if the technology is available. If only the teacher computer/projector is available, a student can select the town and then turn and talk with those in their group.) Since this is not for a grade, the teacher may assign towns, to make it easier to check, or groups may pick their own towns, then pull it up on the teacher computer for all to see.
Independent work:
Step 2  Round  use Rounding Decimals worksheet (see attachments)
After  see Exit Card (see attachments) for an example

Attachments: **Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download. 
Assessment Strategies 
Attached are formal and informal assessments for comparing decimals. The front page is for writing down data for whole group discussion at the top, and small group discussion at the bottom. The group work is for informal assessment. The back is individual work and may be a formal/summative assessment. The Rounding sheet is attached also and can be guided at the beginning as a formative assessment, and allow the student to finish independently as a formal/summative assessment. There are several questions at the bottom for whole class discussion or to see what the child is thinking. There is an example of an exit card attached. This is a quick summative assessment. 
Acceleration: 
Advanced students may be selfdirected.
There should not be a lot of time between early finishers and late finishers, therefore this is more of curiosity checking than time for another assignment. As pairs finish, each pair could be assigned a different research question listed below. They could lead a discussion of what they found at the end of the class time.

Intervention: 
Students requiring intervention can write down the rainfall averages down to the tenths place. They can compare decimals in the tenths and round to the whole number. Students requiring intervention can use smaller numbers. Students can line up numbers by the decimal point to make sure they are not lining up the numbers by the digit on the right. For example, students can line up 1.09, 2.3, and 6. Once you are sure students understand the decimal placement, have them compare two numbers at a time, by lining up the decimals, reading the number from left to right, then, underlining the first digit they do not have in common. For example: 156.239 157.02 Make sure they understand that it is not the LENGTH of the number, but that first different digit that makes the difference. Gradually work up to the four digits found in the precipitation activity. Quite often a struggling learner will think 5 is smaller than 0.4356, just because one has more digits. Also, it is common to misunderstand and think that 5.5 < 5.50, so watch for that error in reasoning. Go back and review place value. 5 dimes and 50 pennies have the same value. 
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.
