# Definition of Descending Order

## Overview

People like to put items into patterns. Patterns help us find things. Patterns help us remember.

When we work with numbers, we like to put them into patterns. One pattern is to put the numbers in order from **greatest number** to the **least number**. This pattern is called **descending** order.

Descending means to go **down**. Look at this boy. He is descending the stairs.

Look at the children. They are skiing **down** the hill. They are descending down the hill.

Now look at these numbers. They are arranged in descending order.

5 4 3 2 1

5 is the largest number. It is at the beginning of the pattern. 1 is the smallest number. It is at the end of the pattern. In math the largest number is called the greatest. The smallest number is called the least.

Let’s look at these numbers. They are arranged in descending order.

8 6 4 2

8 is the first number in the pattern. It is also the greatest number. 6 comes next because it is smaller than 8. After 6, come 4. It is smaller than 6. The last number in the pattern is 2. It is the least. It is smaller than 4. The numbers in this pattern are going down. They are getting smaller. These numbers are in descending order.

Look at these numbers.** Are they in descending order?**

5 2 6 3 9

These numbers are **not** in descending order. 5 is not the greatest number in the pattern. 9 should be at the beginning of the pattern because it is the greatest number. 2 is the least number. It should be at the end.

Look at the numbers below. They are in descending order.

9 6 5 3 2

When we put numbers or objects in descending order, we look for the largest number. This number starts the pattern. Then we look for the next largest number. This is the next number in the pattern. We keep looking for the next largest number until we have used all the numbers.

### Practice Question 1

**Look at the baskets. Each basket has eggs. Put the baskets in descending order.**

A B C

3 6 4

First, count the eggs in each basket. Basket A has 3 eggs. Basket B has 6 eggs. Basket C has 4 eggs. Basket B has the most eggs. It is at the beginning of the descending order pattern. Basket C has 4 eggs. Basket A has three eggs. Basket B is next in the pattern. Basket A has the least amount. It goes last.

B C A

6 4 3

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### Practice Question 2

**Put these numbers in descending order. Remember descending means to go down. Numbers in a descending pattern get smaller.**

5 9 2

Which number is greatest? It is 9. It is the first number in the descending order pattern.

9

Look at the 5 and the 2. Which number is greater? It is the 5. 5 is the next number in the descending order pattern.

9 5

Now look at 2. It is the last number in the descending order pattern.

9 5 2

The numbers are in descending order. 9 is the greatest. 5 is greater than 2.

### Practice Question 3

**Put these objects in descending order. Remember descending means to go down. Numbers in a descending pattern get smaller.**

### Practice Question 4

**Put these numbers in descending order. Remember descending means to go down. Numbers in a descending pattern get smaller.**

3 5 9 2

### Practice Question 5

**Put these numbers in descending order. Remember descending means to go down. Numbers in a descending pattern get smaller.**

8 11 9 14

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