Lesson Plan:

Unscramble the Place Value

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July 28, 2015
by April Brown

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to show place value up to thousands using numbers.


Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Ask a student to come up with a four-digit number.
  • Write the four-digit number on the board.
  • Explain to the students that they will be working with place value, or the amount each digit in a number represents.
  • Refer back to the four-digit number written on the board.
  • Ask the students how much each digit represents.
  • Invite a student to come up and show his classmates using place value blocks.
  • Next, break the number down using words. For example, if the number chosen was 1321, write one thousand, three hundreds, two tens, and one one.
  • Explain to the students that they will be playing a game where they must unscramble a number written in words using the standard form of the number, or the number written with numerals.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (15 minutes)

  • Draw four short horizontal lines on the board.
  • Under each line, write ones, tens, hundreds, and thousands from right to left. Place a comma between the thousands and hundreds.
  • Explain to the students that this is a place value chart that can be used to help them separate a number into its separate digits.
  • Next write “five hundreds, six thousands, four tens, and five ones” on the white board.
  • Refer back to the place value chart, and model unscrambling the words and placing the digits in the correct spot on the place value chart (6,545).
  • Read the number aloud.
  • Explain to the students that they will be unscrambling words to create numbers, but instead of using the large board, they will be using four small boards in small groups.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (15 minutes)

  • Separate students into groups of four to five students.
  • Give each group four small whiteboards and markers to share. Give each student a Place Value Unscramble worksheet.
  • Direct your students to put the boards on the ground and label them with ones, tens, hundreds, and thousands, respectively.
  • Hold up the Unscramble worksheet, and explain that the students will take turns solving the problems and writing the number in standard form on the boards.
  • Invite a group to model the process. Ask the students to read the numbers aloud once they have unscrambled them.
  • Explain to the students that when they are finished, they can make up their own number scrambles and take turns solving them.

Independent Working Time (20 minutes)

  • Tell the students that they can begin solving the problems on their sheets. Have them write the standard form of the number under or next to each of the problems on their sheets.



  • Enrichment: Challenge students by allowing them to create their own four-digit plus four-digit addition problems and write the answers on their whiteboards using place value knowledge.
  • Support: Give your students access to the place value blocks so they can manipulate and visualize the numbers.


Assessment (5 minutes)

  • During the lesson, rotate around the classroom to check on groups and observe students. Make note of struggling students and students who are easily able to solve the problems.
  • At the end of the lesson, ask students to share the problems that were challenging or simple for them.
  • Ask students to turn in their sheets so you can check for understanding.

Review and Closing (10 minutes)

  • Ask students to clean up materials and come to a common area.
  • Explain to the students that they worked on their understanding of place value up to thousands using number scrambles.
  • Have the students share their challenges and successes with the rest of the class.

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