Comparing – Elementary Examples

Numbers and measures are compared in many ways to get a sense of order and relative magnitude. Objects, shapes, equations and events are compared to define their attributes. Sometimes they are compared to each other, benchmarks, properties or classifications, events, and data sets. (equivalence, inequivalence).

Elementary Examples

From Dr. Small, (2010):1


  • What is your favorite fruit?
  • Which fruit has the greatest number of votes?
  • How can you tell without counting?

Survey students and build concrete graphs with interlocking cubes. This provides a single one-to-one comparison. Here, learners can see which fruit has the greatest number of votes.


Which person in your group has the greatest number of letters in their name? How can you tell without counting?

Now compare the lengths of your last names but do not use a grid. Who has the name with the greatest number of letters? How do you know?

Maths Frames: Comparing Scales.2

Compare the numbers on two different number lines and decide which is bigger.  A great game to get children thinking about place value and reading various scales.

1Small, M. (2010). Big Ideas from Dr. Small: Creating a Comfort Zone for Teaching Mathematics Grades Kindergarten – 3. Toronto: Nelson Education Ltd., p. 19

2KS2 Maths Games and Worksheets – Mathsframe. (2017). Retrieved 11 June 2020, from

%d bloggers like this: