# Biggest and Smallest

This activity, Find the biggest and smallest number, tests a child’s basic understanding of numbers. An awareness of place and place value is essential to do this activity. The exercises in this activity help parents to spot any difficulties their child has in understanding the concept of numbers.

**How is the activity organised?**

There are five levels in this activity. The arrangement of levels are shown below.

Level 1 |
Level 2 |
Level 3 |
Level 4 |
Level 5 |

Single digit numbers |
Two-digit numbers |
Three –digit numbers |
Four-digit numbers |
Five digit numbers and two to four- digit numbers |

Four numbers are shown and the challenge is to identify the biggest and the smallest number. The numbers range from single digit to five-digit numbers. To do this activity, a thorough understanding of the place and place value is essential.

**Tips for you, the parents.**

Refer to the notes to a related activity, “Writing numbers in figures”. The tips offered in that lesson are very much applicable here.

- You can also use a place and place- value chart for numbers in Indian system that is given below.
**number****crores****ten lakhs****lakhs****ten thousands****thousands****hundreds****tens****units**564

5

6

4

6780

6

7

8

0

10907

1

0

9

0

7

645713

6

4

5

7

1

3

5479021

5

4

7

9

0

2

1

32695037

3

2

6

9

5

0

3

7

Use the place and place-value chart regularly till the child is comfortable reading and writing numbers.

- Teach your child how to compare numbers.
- If we have to compare any two numbers, the first step is to count the digits each number has.
For example: Which is bigger 947 or 1341? One is a four digit number and the other number is only a three digit number. The number having more digits is bigger.

- Comparison of numbers having equal number of digits:
The first thing to tell the child is to consider the number at the left which happens to be the highest place.

Suppose we have to compare two numbers 499 and 701. What are the numbers at the left? They are 4 and 7. They are at the hundredth place and these numbers stand for 400 and 700. Which is bigger? Obviously 700 is bigger. All the other digits have no relevance in this example. 701 is bigger than 499.

- Comparison of numbers having identical numbers at the first two places at the left side.
Suppose we have to compare 67498 and 67501. The first two digits at the left are the same. So we move to the next digit, the hundredth place. The two digits are 4 and 5. Which is bigger 5 or 4? 5 is bigger and therefore 67501 is bigger than 67498.

In this way, the child can be taught to compare any two numbers. Later, the child can practise with three numbers. For children who struggle with numbers sufficient practice is necessary. They should also know the place and place-value.

- If we have to compare any two numbers, the first step is to count the digits each number has.
- Dictation of numbers
For children who struggle with numbers dictation of numbers daily would prove to be useful.

The internet offers a number of exercises on the number system.