MATH: Comparing Numbers with Doodle Gator

Time Required: Two 45-minute sessions
Skill Level: Beginner
Recommended Grades: K to 2nd

In this activity, students will work in pairs to doodle models which will be used to identify sets of numbers as greater than, less than or equal to. Students will hear the story of Doodle-Gator, a hungry, number-chomping gator who always likes eating the largest number, and Equal Eagle, who loves balancing numbers of equal value on her wings. This will help students remember the meaning and proper usage of these math symbols used to compare numbers.

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Lesson Plan


Step 1

Whole Group: Tell students the story of Doodle-Gator. Doodle-Gator comes from Numberland. He swims around in the swamp looking for big, delicious numbers to eat. He is always hungry.

(Write the numbers 2 and 5 on the board)

"Yum-yum," says Doodle-Gator. "I sure am hungry. I always like to eat the biggest, juiciest number," says Doodle-Gator. "Which number is bigger," asks Doodle-Gator. (Ask students which number is bigger.) "Chomp-chomp chomp," goes Doodle-Gator.

(As you say this place Doodle-Gator's open mouth towards the number 5.)

Repeat this over and over again with different numbers. Allow students to say, "Yum-yum," and "Chomp-chomp-chomp," at the right times. Note how numbers can sometimes be equal. Doodle-Gator does not like to eat equal numbers. Equal Eagle flies in and sits between equal numbers, allowing each one to sit balanced on his wings. Have students spread their arms like a balanced scale.

Step 2

Share the goal: During this session, students will doodle their own Doodle-Gator and Equal Eagle with a partner. Then students will use Doodle Gator and Equal Eagle to compare numbers on the Doodle Gator Worksheet.

Step 3

Model how to doodle Doodle-Gator and Equal Eagle, outlining them first and then filling them in with a back and forth motion.
*See Appendix.

Step 4

Whole Group: Demonstrate how to use Doodle-Gator and Equal Eagle to compare each set of numbers on the Doodle Gator Worksheet. *Note that the number spaces have been left blank so that the teacher can select numbers appropriate for the grade-level.

Step 5

As students work on their worksheets with a partner, circle to assist and assess.

Step 6

After students have worked with each set of numbers, have them come up with three sets of numbers to compare with their partner using Doodle Gator and Equal Eagle.

Wrap Up

Students will share the three sets of numbers they've created to compare with the class. Students will demonstrate how to use both symbols to accurately compare numbers.


The teacher will assess students’ understanding of the comparison of numbers by assessing their worksheets and the problems they write to share with the class.

Possible Extensions

Students will write a word problem about Doodle-Gator and Equal Eagle which includes at least 4 number comparisons.

Example: Doodle-Gator is swimming in a Number Swamp. He sees 4 iguanas swim by. He sees 8 sharks swim by. "Yum-yum. I am hungry," says Doodle-Doodle Gator. He swims on after the sharks. His mouth is open and hungry, etc. Students can act out their stories using their doodled symbols.


NOTE: Outline each area first before filling. Fill in the larger areas with a back and forth motion, ensuring to make contact with the outline each time. This will anchor the plastic to the outlined frame. Face the open-mouthed gator towards the bigger number. Fill in the eyes of Doodle-Gator last.

Reference Image 1

Reference Image 2


  • acting - the art or practice of representing a character before an audience.

  • collaboration - to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor.

  • comparing - to examine the character or qualities of especially in order to discover resemblances or differences.

  • counting - to indicate or name by units or groups so as to find the total number of units involved.

  • drawing - the art or technique of representing an object or outlining a figure, plan, or sketch by means of lines.

  • greater than - holding a value that is larger.

  • less than - holding a value that is smaller.

  • numbers -

  • problem-solving - the process or act of finding a solution to a problem.

  • writing - any written or printed paper, as a document or deed.

Educational Standards

Common Core

Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than,
less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies.

In This Lesson

Students will compare numbers as greater than, less than or equal.

Common Core

Compare two numbers between 1 and 10 presented as written numerals.

In This Lesson

Students will compare two numbers written as numerals.

CS Teachers

Decompose (break down) a larger problem into smaller sub-problems with teacher guidance or independently.

In This Lesson

Students will break down the process of comparing numbers through practice, enactment, doodling, and application.

Common Core

Use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

In This Lesson

Students will use the 3Doodler to create doodled models of the greater than/ less than and equal symbols.


Create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.

In This Lesson

Students will use a 3Doodler to doodle concrete models of mathematical symbols used to compare numbers.


Use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts or community members, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints.

In This Lesson

Students will seek feedback from peers as they solve, practice, doodle, and compare numbers.

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