Grade 3 Mathematics Lesson Plan: Ordering and Comparing Whole Numbers

Lesson Plan Title:

Grade 3 Mathematics Lesson Plan: Ordering and Comparing Whole Numbers

Materials Needed:

  • Textbook: CAPS Approved Mathematics Grade 3
  • Worksheets with number sets for ordering and comparing
  • Number cards (1-100)
  • Chart paper and markers
  • Interactive whiteboard or projector (if available)
  • Flashcards with mathematical symbols (>, <, =)

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the lesson, students should be able to:
1. Compare and order whole numbers up to 100.
2. Use symbols (>, <, =) to compare numbers.
3. Explain their reasoning for the order and comparison of numbers.


  1. Whole Numbers: Any of the numbers 0, 1, 2, 3, etc.
  2. Compare: To find out if one number is greater than, less than, or equal to another number.
  3. Order: Arranging numbers from smallest to largest or vice versa.
  4. Greater Than (>): Indicates one number is larger than another.
  5. Less Than (<): Indicates one number is smaller than another.

Previous Learning:

Students have previously learned how to count sequentially and recognise whole numbers up to 50. They are familiar with basic addition and subtraction which aids in understanding number values.

Anticipated Challenges and Solutions:

  • Challenge: Students may confuse the symbols for greater than and less than.
  • Solution: Use analogies (e.g., the symbol looks like a hungry alligator that always wants to eat the bigger number) and practice with concrete examples.
  • Challenge: Difficulty in ordering larger sets of numbers.
  • Solution: Break it down into smaller, more manageable sets and use visual aids like number lines.

Beginning Activities (4 minutes):

  1. Introduction: Briefly discuss what whole numbers are and review previous knowledge about counting.
  2. Objective Sharing: Explain that today students will learn how to compare and order these numbers.
  3. Activation of Prior Knowledge: Ask a few questions to the class, such as “What is the largest number you can think of?” and “Which number is greater, 5 or 9?”

Middle Activities (32 minutes):

  1. Direct Instruction (10 minutes):
  2. Demonstrate how to compare two numbers using the symbols >, <, and =.
  3. Use a number line drawn on the board to visually show the ordering of numbers.
  4. Show examples of ordering groups of numbers from least to greatest and greatest to least.
  5. Guided Practice (10 minutes):
  6. Students work in pairs with number cards. One student picks a card, and the other has to pick a card that is either greater than or less than the first card.
  7. As a class, order a set of given numbers on a chart paper. Discuss their placement and reasoning.
  8. Independent Practice (12 minutes):
  9. Hand out worksheets with sets of whole numbers to be ordered and compared.
  10. Students work individually to complete the worksheet. Teacher monitors and provides support where needed.

End Activities (4 minutes):

  1. Exit Ticket:
  2. Each student receives a slip of paper with two numbers on it and must write the correct comparison symbol (>, <, or =) between them.
  3. Collect these as they exit the classroom to quickly assess understanding.

Assessment and Checks for Understanding:

  • Observation during Guided Practice: Monitor student discussions and reasoning while ordering numbers.
  • Worksheets: Check accuracy in ordering and comparing whole numbers.
  • Exit Ticket: Assess understanding of comparison symbols and their correct usage.

Differentiation Strategies for Diverse Learners:

  • For Students Needing Extra Help: Provide additional number lines, visual aids, and one-on-one assistance during independent practice.
  • For Advanced Students: Include more challenging numbers and have them explain their reasoning in more depth. Encourage them to create their own sets of numbers for classmates to order and compare.
  • For ELL Students: Use visual aids and pair with a buddy who speaks the same home language if possible. Simplify language when giving instructions.

Teaching Notes:

  • Purpose of the Lesson: Helps students to understand the value and placement of whole numbers in context, which is foundational for more complex numerical operations.
  • Educational Value: Strengthens number sense, an essential mathematical skill.
  • Tips for Effective Delivery:
  • Use plenty of visual aids and real-life examples to make the concept relatable.
  • Encourage student participation to keep them actively engaged.
  • Accessibility Considerations: Ensure that printed materials are clear and legible for students with visual impairments. Provide verbal explanations for students who might have reading difficulties. Ensure materials and activities support different learning styles.

This lesson plan offers a structured and engaging approach to teaching Grade 3 students how to order and compare whole numbers, aligning with CAPS curriculum standards.

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