Have you built a strong foundation for the concept of greater than and less than? Homeschool Greater Gator can help! It’s so important to make sure that your child has a firm understanding of the greater than/less than concept early on in their math journey. When they graduate from whole numbers to decimals to fractions and then to even more abstract math concepts, the foundation that you have helped build will help them solve their mathematical problems with success.
How to Make an Easy Greater Gator Homeschool Math Activity
One of the ways that you can create concrete examples of greater than/less then, is to make a super simple “Greater Gator Number Muncher.” It provides children with a manipulative that they have to move and shift and, well, manipulate to show the correct answer. Besides, it’s adorably cute and fun to have in your homeschool space as a reminder of the concept.
Greater Gator Number Muncher How-To
- 2 green tongue depressors
- 1 googly eye
- 1 sheet of white paper
- Glue one end of each tongue depressor together in a “V” shape. Make sure it’s wide enough to look like the “gator” is going to munch on something.
- Cut out two strips of teeth and glue them to the back of the tongue depressors so that the pointy ends are pointing into the “mouth” of the gator.
- Glue on the googly eye and wait for everything to dry.
How to Use the Greater Gator Number Muncher
When you’re introducing the concept of greater than/less than, it’s so important that your child has concrete examples. Break out the candy, the crackers, the teddy bear counters, or whatever you have a lot of on hand. I like to use small chocolate candies or animal cookies, because math is always more fun with snacks.
On a sheet of plain paper, place a few of your manipulatives of choice on the right and two or three more on the left. For example, you may put three on the right and five on the left. Ask your child to use his Greater Gator Number Muncher to “eat” the pile that has the most. Explain that the greater than/less than sign is always going to have the opening (the mouth) facing the larger number.
Repeat, practice, and keep going until you feel like your child can quickly and accurately identify the greater number. When you are describing the outcome, be sure to use both greater than and less than in your explanation. “Three is greater than two and two is less than three.” This way your child starts to grasp the concept in both directions…not just greater than. Ask them to explain their reasoning when they place their Greater Gator Number Muncher, as well.
Math concepts don’t have to be dull and boring…especially when there’s a Greater Gator Number Muncher in the house! How do you prefer teaching greater than/less than? I’d love to hear your ideas!