
Obtain the Materials 

 Assemble several “alligator mouths” You can be as creative as you like, using green painted popsicle sticks glued together on an angle and decorated with a googly eye and sharp teeth or you can use two strips of paper joined together with a brass brad. The children really love the idea of an alligator eating “more” of something and having the children physically position the alligator’s mouth towards the larger quantity, helps to solidify the concept.
 A deck of cards with face cards and Aces taken out of the deck.
 The book, Alfie the Alligator by Sandy Turley
Note: Small parts create a choking hazard for children. Make sure that all materials you choose to use for an activity or lesson with children meet safety requirements. Small parts are not appropriate for children who are 5 years of age or younger.




Introduce the Activity 

 Introduce the concepts of “more than”, “less than” and “equal to” by reading the book, Alfie the Alligator. Alfie the Alligator is a whimsical story rhyme about an alligator named Alfie who takes his friends on a journey to find the largest numbers. The book teaches the concept of comparing numbers and reinforces the use of the greater than (>) less than (<) and equal sign (=).




Engage the Children 

 Explain the game. Draw two cards from the pile and place them side by side with a space in between them. Model the mathematical phrasing that will help the children understand the concept of “greater”.
 Say: “Let’s pretend these numbers are cookies. Would Alfie the alligator rather have 6 cookies or 3 cookies?” The children respond, “He wants 6 cookies.” Say: “That’s right. Alfie is hungry and six cookies are more than 3 cookies. And 3 cookies are less than 6 cookies. So we will place Alfie’s open mouth towards the bigger number of cookies.”
 Have the children play through the deck of cards alternating turns. As was modeled, have the children say a sentence about how it was done. For example, 6 cookies are more than 3 cookies.
 Be sure to model the correct vocabulary if two numbers are the same.
Additional Extensions
 Use items other than playing cards. For larger numbers, use counting manipulatives such as colored bears or dried kidney beans.
 Transfer to “More than, less than, equal to” worksheets where there are two numbers or two groups of objects and a box between the 2 numbers. In the box, have the children draw the “more than” sign to indicate which of the two numbers are larger. Worksheets can be downloaded at this site:
http://www.mathaids.com/Greater_Than_Less_Than/Kindergarten_Integers.html




Encourage Vocabulary 

 More than – Words used to compare quantity (e.g., "Six cookies are more than 3 cookies.")
 Greater than – More than; shows relationship between numbers (e.g., "The number 6 is greater than the number 3.")
 Less than – A value that is smaller in number (e.g., "The number 3 is less than the number 6.")
 Equal – To be the same in number or amount (e.g., "There are equal amounts of cookies.")
Glossary of MATH vocabulary 



Make Adaptations 

Supporting Children at Different Levels 
Toddlers 

PreK 
Toddlers may:
 Have trouble identifying which number is greater.


PreK Children may:

Grasp the idea that the alligator’s open mouth goes toward the larger number.

Have a command of numbers 2 – 9 (the numbers on the playing cards).

Home child care providers may:
 Model the mathematical phrasing that will help the children understand the concept of “greater.” Ask, “Let’s pretend these numbers are cookies. Would Alfie the alligator rather like to have 6 cookies or 3 cookies?” The children respond, “He wants 6 cookies.” “That’s right. Alfie is hungry and six cookies are more than 3 cookies. And 3 cookies are less than 6 cookies. So we will place Alfie’s open mouth towards the bigger number of cookies.”
 Get small objects, like dried beans, that allow them to count out the quantities. If they are able to answer the problems correctly, the difficulty is with number sense; they need more practice matching written numbers and quantities so this connection becomes more secure.

Home child care providers may:
 Transfer to “More than, less than, equal to” worksheets where there are two numbers or two groups of objects and a box between the 2 numbers. In the box, have the children draw the “more than” sign to indicate which of the two numbers are larger. Worksheets can be downloaded at this site:
http://www.mathaids.com/Greater_Than_Less_Than/Kindergarten_Integers.html
 Use items other than playing cards. For larger numbers, use counting manipulatives such as colored bears or dried kidney beans.





Books 

 Alfie the Alligator by Sandy Turley (Amherst, New Hampshire: Helps4Teachers, 2008)
 More or Less by Stuart J. Murphy (New York: HarperCollins, 2005)




Music and Movement 





Outdoor Connections 


Play Red Rover  Separate everyone into two equal teams. Here, they will be called Team A and Team B. Have each team stand in a straight line, holding hands. The two teams should be facing each other, about ten yards apart.
Team A decides who to "call over" from Team B. Once Team A has decided, they sing, "Red Rover, Red Rover, we call (name) over! The player from Team B who was called must run to Team A and try to break through the arms of two Team A players. If the player from Team B don't pass through, they are a part of Team A now. But if they pass through, they go back to their original team, Team B. Continue playing until one team only has two people. Once one of those people gets put on the other team, the game is over. The larger team wins.




Web Resources 

