Lesson 15

Diagrams with All Kinds of Compare Problems

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is for students to connect Compare problems with unknowns in all positions to tape diagrams.

Lesson Narrative

In this lesson, students continue to make sense of tape diagrams as they connect them to story problems. The story problems in this lesson include Compare problems with an unknown difference, an unknown larger number, or an unknown smaller number. Because these problem types are familiar from grade 1, students also begin to work with numbers within 100 in this lesson. This gives students an opportunity to notice how the tape diagram can be used to quickly visualize story problems with larger quantities. Students use tape diagrams to make sense of Compare problems. When students connect situations, tape diagrams, and equations, they deepen their understanding of the problem type and develop strategies they can use to make sense of and persevere in solving these problems in future lessons (MP1, MP2).

  • Action and Expression
  • MLR8

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Interpret tape diagrams that represent Compare problems, with unknowns in all positions within 100.

Student Facing

  • Let’s connect Compare problems to diagrams.

Required Materials

Materials to Copy

  • Card Sort: At the Beach

Required Preparation

Activity 2:

  • Create a set of cards from the blackline master for each group of 2.

CCSS Standards


Lesson Timeline

Warm-up 10 min
Activity 1 15 min
Activity 2 20 min
Lesson Synthesis 10 min
Cool-down 5 min

Teacher Reflection Questions

As students worked in their small groups today, whose ideas were heard, valued, and accepted? How can you adjust the group structure in future lessons to ensure each student’s ideas are a part of the collective learning?

Suggested Centers

  • Number Puzzles: Addition and Subtraction (1–4), Stage 2: Within 20 (Addressing)
  • Shake and Spill (K–2), Stage 5: Cover (up to 20) (Supporting)
  • Sort and Display (1–3), Stage 2: Picture or Bar Graphs (Addressing)

Print Formatted Materials

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Student Task Statements pdf docx
Lesson Cover Page pdf docx
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Teacher Presentation Materials pdf docx
Blackline Masters zip

Additional Resources

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