Home > KS3, Maths, Resources, Teaching > Inequalities


Inequalities is a subject that I enjoy teaching, it is one which easily lends itself to SMSC discussion around inequality in society and it is quite a fun topic to do.

The first lesson observation I had that was a solid “good” during my NQT year was for a lesson on inequalities. This introductory lesson on inequalities as been tweaked and formed the basis of the lesson i use most of each time. That lesson can be found here: http://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/Inequalities-6334471 

The lesson starts with a few pictures of different inequalities and I ask the class if they know they word and if they can tell me what it has to do with the pictures I have put on the board. This can produce some lively debate and often some brilliant answers about social inequality and how unfair that can be.

I then introduce the signs and discuss what they mean and the difference between them before moving on to some questions which pupils need to answer on whiteboards. These start with easy numerical ones before moving on to some sums. I include one where they get 4 and 4 and have to put a sign in. Most put one of the “or equal to” ones but there’s always one or two who opt for = despite it not being on the list. I think this is a great discussion point to use with pupils. As it gets further on I throw a couple of fun ones in. Most pupils get Maths > English correct (thankfully), but most get Rugby > football wrong!

The lesson moves onto numberlines and writing integers which satisfy inequalities and then refers to a card sort activity which involves pictures showing inequalities on a number line, integers which satisfy the inequality and the inequality written algebraically. The lesson moves on to solving them and the plenary (or “Final challenge”) is to solve a wordy past paper GCSE question.

I enjoy using this lesson and my pupils enjoy it, understand it and learn from it and i hope that some of you can have a similar experience with your classes.

NB: I’ve also included an exported powerpoint of the notebook file.

  1. Jenny
    February 28, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Thanks for this! I’ve used this a couple of times now and it’s been great.

    • February 28, 2014 at 11:41 pm

      Glad you liked it. It was the first lesson I was ever graded 2 with features of 1, way back in my NQT year. I like the lesson a lot, and use it (sometimes tweaked a little), whenever inequalities comes up.

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