3rd Grade - Compare Numbers Up To 10,000

Compare Numbers up to 10,000
Compare and order whole numbers to 10,000
Number Sense: Comparing numbers to 10,000 The ability to identify numbers as greater, lesser or equal to one another The ability to understand how numbers are different from one another The ability to place whole numbers in order, from lowest to highest or, from highest to lowest. When asked to compare two numbers, the ability to use standard mathematical symbols (< > =) to show, mathematically, how the numbers are related in regards to size-value. Understand how to use commas to facilitate readability.

Sample Problems


What is counting? (adding one)


What are some reasons we use big numbers? When would we want to put numbers in order? (putting dates in order, comparing how much things cost, comparing grades)


What do large numbers have in common with small numbers? (they both have 0-9 numbers, they are both used to count, they both help us explain our world, etc.) How does a number change when the zero is moved around? (it gets bigger or smaller)


How do you compare two numbers to each other? (Line up the numbers being compared and compare the place value for each digit starting from the left. Find the different number and stop there. The number that has the largest digit is the larger number.)


What makes a number greater, lesser or equal to another number? (see above) How do you write the signs for each of those terms? (<, >, =)

Learning Tips


Use the Place Numbers Card (see PDF) for making a hanging number line (clothesline, on the wall). Children can help arrange the digits in order to make the line accurate. Print as many copies of the Numbers Card as you need to combine digits to create a variety of number lines.


Use sidewalk chalk to draw a number line on the sidewalk. Write “0” at one end and 10,000 at the other end. In between, at appropriate intervals, write 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, etc. through 9,000; the 10,000 is already at the end. An adult or older child shouts a number so that children can run to stand on the correct number. When players are comfortable with exact-number games, call other numbers so that children can stand in the approximate places (between the labeled points). You may need a longer number line to play this advanced-format game so that there is more room to approximate the correct place to stand. Ask children to compare their numbers by creating a new rule: if the number called is larger than the number you stand on now, you should run to the new number. If the number called is smaller, stay where you are. You may change the rule to the reverse (staying where you are for a larger number) if you like.


Print and cut apart the Random Number cards supplied (PDF). Use just a few in the beginning and gradually increase the number. The object is to sort the cards, placing numbers in numerical order. There are 100 cards; if another set is wanted, there is a random number generator in the Online Resources.


There is a rule for placing commas to assist in the reading and aligning of numbers. Numbers have the same value with or without the comma(s); their purpose is purely to ease the reading/alignment. When we place commas, we start at the right and count toward the left, marking with a comma each 3 digits. Stop when there are only one or two digits remaining.


Children need to know that the symbol points to the smaller value. Some children understand this best by explaining that the hungry math monster likes to eat a lot and the mouth (big side of the symbol) will always eat the bigger number.


Use base ten blocks to model two numbers. Count out flats, rods and units for both numbers. Start with the greatest place value first. After each number is modeled, have the child write which number is greater/lesser than using the appropriate symbols.


Have children point to various numbers on a number line. (A number line is simply a long line or paper strip, such as a roll of calculator or cash register tape, stretched out so that numbers can be written on it. At the left the first number must be 0; additional numbers are spaced along the strip.) Remind them that the number to the right has the greatest value. If this is difficult for the child, the number line can be turned vertically like a growth chart. Children can compare two numbers using the number line.

Extra Help Problems


Place the comma(s) correctly in these numbers:

12; 120, 1200; 12000; 120000; 1200000

(12; 120, 1,200; 12,000; 120,000; 1,200,000)


Place the comma(s) correctly in these numbers: 6, 63, 634, 6349

(6, 63, 634, 6,349)


Fill in the missing numbers:

98, 99, ________, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, _________, _______

(100, 109, 110)


Fill in the missing numbers:

1, 10, 100, ___________, ________________

(1,000; 10,000)


Use the correct mathematical symbol to show that 2 is less than 3. (2<3)


Use the correct mathematical symbol to show that 5 is greater than 1. (5>1)


Use the correct mathematical symbol to show that 4 is equal to 4. (4=4)


Order the numbers 6,954, 7,093, 7,043 and 7,123. (6,954, 7,043, 7,093, 7,123 is largest because the 1 in the hundreds place is larger than 0.)


5,679 is _______5,400 (>)

1,209 is ________ 1,029 (<)

3,049 is ________ 3,940 (<)


Order a list of numbers from greatest to least or least to greatest.

6,789. 6,788, 6,042, 7,068 (6,042, 6,788, 6,789, 7,068).


Which list is in order from the smallest number to the largest?

0, 24, 240, 402, 2004 OR 0, 24, 4020, 4002 (the first list)


Arrange the digits 5, 2, 6 to make four numbers greater than 500. (526, 562, 625, 652)


Use the digits 0, 7, 2, and 6 to make numbers larger than 6,000. You may only use these 4 digits, but the numbers that you make could use 1, 2, 3, or 4 of the digits. How many numbers can you make?

(any 4-digit numbers that use these digits and begin with 6 in the thousands place will be satisfactory; it is not possible to make any numbers larger than 6,000 with fewer than all 4 of these digits)


Write the next 12 numbers after 99. (100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111)


Would you rather have 8 French fries or 80 French fries? If you don’t like French fries would you rather have 8 or 80 of your favorite food?


Read the numbers 8,675 and 8,765. Write them in words. (eight thousand, six hundred seventy five and eight thousand seven hundred sixty five). Now make a number sentence that tells which is greater than the other. (8,765 > 8,675)


If you are preparing party bags for your birthday and you want your friends to have the most pieces of candy, which would you choose: a bag of skittles with 250 pieces or a bag of lollipops with 20 pieces? (Skittles because it has more pieces; 250 > 20).


Compare these numbers using <, >, or =. 865, 908, 743, 745, 543. (543<743<745<865<908)


Compare these numbers using <, >, or =.: 5,674 5,763 (<)


Compare these numbers using <, >, or =.: 9,432 9,432 (=)


Compare these numbers using <, >, or =.: 10,000 9,999 (>)


Compare these numbers using <, >, or =.: 457 453 (>)


Compare these numbers using <, >, or =.: 8,987 8,999 (<)


Compare these numbers using <, >, or =.: 345 435 (<)


Compare these numbers using <, >, or =.: 8,978 8,789 (>)



Related Games


Copyright ©2009 Big Purple Hippos, LLC