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NYU Steinhardt EMAT Teaching Residency
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“Al The Alligator” is the title of this lesson on Greater Than and Less Than




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Title – Al the Alligator (Greater than/Less than)
By – Kelly
Subject – Math
Grade Level – 1st-2nd
number cards (0-10) (maybe 0-20 for 2nd grade or end of 1st)
Number line (0-20 or higher)
Alligator hand puppet (or oven mitt)

Al the Alligator is a special alligator.
He never eats people… He only eats numbers- Large numbers!

When he sees two numbers he will always want to eat the largest number.
Write two numbers on the board.
Discuss which of those numbers is larger (farther away from 0).
Now show students that if Al was going to eat one of those numbers he would eat the number -. And point the mouth of the puppet towards that number.
Repeat several times until you feel that students are beginning to understand the idea. Then have two students come to the front and draw two numbers.
Then have them stand facing the rest of the class.
As a class decide which number is greater and have Al eat that number. Repeat with the remaining numbers.

After you have practiced with the number cards. Tell students that there is a special way to write which number is greater. Knowing how Al eats numbers will help them to remember which way to write the symbol. Then look at the numbers you have written on the board and discuss which one they thought was bigger. Then since that was the number that Al would eat we draw this symbol that looks like his mouth “eating” the largest number (< or >) Repeat with the other pairs of numbers. When you have filled in the sign with all the pairs of numbers. Write several new pairs of numbers on the board and have students come up to the board and fill in the correct sign.

* I followed up my lesson with a short worksheet (5 questions) to see if all students understood the concept.

* The puppet can also be put in a center with the number cards to allow students hands on practice.

E-Mail Kelly !

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