Math Background

Lesson: Ordering Greater Numbers
Introducing the Concept

Before students order greater numbers, use this lesson to reinforce their understanding of place value of greater numbers.

Materials: transparency made from Learning Tool 4 in the Learning Tools Folder

Preparation: Write the value of each place on Learning Tool 4 and then make a transparency.

place-value chart

Prerequisite Skills and Background: Students should know place value to hundreds.

Write 330 on the place-value chart.

  • Ask: What digit is in the ones place? (0) What is the value of the digit 0? (0)
    Repeat these questions for the digits in the tens and hundreds places. (tens place: 3, value: 30; hundreds place: 3, value: 300)
  • Ask: What is the number?
    Have the class read the number aloud. (three hundred thirty)

    Point to the thousands, ten thousands, and hundred thousands places.

  • Say: These are the thousands places. This is the thousands place. Its value is 1,000. This is the ten thousands place. Its value is 10,000. This is the hundred thousands place. Its value is 100,000.

    Write the digit 9 in the thousands place.

  • Ask: What is the value of the digit 9? (9,000)
  • Say: Read the number aloud. (nine thousand, three hundred thirty)

    Write the digit 8 in the ten thousands place.

  • Ask: What is the value of the digit 8? (80,000) What is the value of the digit 9? (9,000) So what is the total value of the thousands places? (89,000)
  • Say: Read the number aloud. (eighty-nine thousand, three hundred thirty)

    Write the digit 6 in the hundred thousands place.

  • Ask: What is the value of the digit 6 in the hundred thousands place? (600,000)
  • Ask: What is the total value of the thousands places? (689,000)
  • Say: Read the number aloud. (six hundred eighty-nine thousand, three hundred thirty)
  • Ask: Which digit has the greatest value? (6) How do you know?
    Elicit from students that the greatest place is the hundred thousands place, so 6 has the greatest value.
  • Ask: Is the value of the digit 9 greater than or less than the value of the digit 8?
    Students should realize that 9,000 is less than 80,000, so the value of the digit 9 is less than the value of the digit 8.
  • Ask: Which places have the same digit? (the hundreds and tens places) Do the digits have the same value?
    Students should realize that the digit 3 in the hundreds place has a value of 300 and the digit 3 in the tens place has a value of 30.
  • Ask: Since the value of the digit in the ones place is 0, could we just drop the 0? Why or why not?
    Lead students to discover that without the 0, the number would be 68,933.

    Replace 689,330 with 455,072. Ask questions similar to those above.


Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 3