More or Less

By Activity Bank on Jul 11, 2013

This activity has been revised and was originally created by Mary Jane Clark and published in the Perkins Activity and Resource Guide (1st edition, 1992).  The second edition is available for purchase.

In order for students to truly understand quantitative concepts, such as the value of money and measurement, they must first understand the concept of more and less. Students must be able to apply this concept to a functional setting before learning addition and subtraction. This activity teaches comparative quantities using concrete objects that have meaning to the students. Lessons include Concept Development and Math.



Use concrete objects that are meaningful to students such as:

  • Food items
  • Money
  • Books
  • Toys


  • Begin by using concrete objects, such as pennies, apples, and socks. At first, use grossly different quantities to demonstrate this concept.
  • Using pennies, place one penny in one box, and 30 pennies in another. Allow the student to explore each box by lifting and feeling. Discuss the weight (heavier and lighter) and the sound. Help the student to identify which set has more and which has less.
  • At snack time, give one student ten raisins and another just one raisin. Let them look at both quantities. Discuss which is more and which is less.
  • Compare quantities:
    • One cup of sugar – one half cup of sugar
    • One pitcher of water – one glass of water
    • One person on a couch – three people on a couch


Have the student place 50 pennies in one pocket of his pants and two pennies in another. Allow him to walk around the room. Discuss which pocket feels heavier and which feels lighter.

Hint: Identify quantities as more or less throughout the student’s day, such as in cooking (when measuring and comparing weights of various items), at mealtimes and when shopping.



Read more about: Math, Concept Development, STEM