Comparing Numbers to 1,000

Contributor: Rachel Lewis. Lesson ID: 12083

Does it matter if one number is greater than another? It does if you're comparing prices or figuring out which way to go to a destination or which team won! Learn the easy steps for comparing numbers!


Whole Numbers and Operations

learning style
personality style
Beaver, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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You counted down the days and it’s finally here! The video game you have been waiting for was released. At Store A, the game costs $126. At Store B, the game costs $134.

  • Which store has the better buy?

game over

To begin, let's review how to find the place value of a three-digit number.

Look at the number "795."

  • The last digit on the right is in the ones place. The number 795 has 5 ones.
  • The next digit to the left is in the tens place. The number 795 has 9 groups of ten.
  • The next number to the left is in the hundreds place. The number 795 has 7 groups of one hundred.

We can use place value to compare two numbers. Let's use our video game example to find the better buy. Follow these simple steps to compare the two prices:

Step 1: Count the digits.

Step 2: Compare the hundreds place value.

Step 3: Compare the tens place value.

Step 4: Compare the ones place value.

Let’s take another look at our example:

Step 1: Count the digits. Both 126 and 134 have 3 digits in the number. They have the same number of digits.

Step 2: Compare the hundreds place value. Both numbers have 100 in the hundreds place value. They have the same value in the hundreds place.

Step 3: Compare the tens place value. The number 126 has 20 in the tens place. The number 134 has 30 in the tens place. 20 is less than 30. So, 126 is smaller than 134.

Therefore, 126 is the smallest number. 134 is the greatest number.

Now you know that $126 is less than $134. You better head over to Store A before all the video games are gone!

Can you think of another time when you might need to compare two numbers? Tell your parent or teacher why comparing two numbers is important.

Then move to the Got It? section for a comparison activity.

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