Lesson plan

All About Three-Digit Numbers

Students will get to explore three-digit numbers through base-ten blocks and written form. Students will get plenty of practice identifying the place values of a number both individually and with the class.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Writing Three-Digit Number Names pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
Grade Subject View aligned standards

No standards associated with this content.

No standards associated with this content.

No standards associated with this content.

Which set of standards are you looking for?

Need extra help for EL students? Try the Writing Three-Digit Number Names pre-lesson.

Students will be able to read and write three-digit numbers using base-ten blocks and written form.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students to put their thumbs up if they have ever been shopping and looked at new bikes or scooters.
  • Show students the example price tag or project the image on the whiteboard. Challenge students to tell their elbow partner the number listed on the price tag.
  • Continue by explaining that bikes and scooters are sometimes a lot of money, or expensive. Tell the students that the number on the price tag is a three-digit number, and today you will learn about them.
  • Explain the learning objective for today by explaining to students that they are going to learn how to write and read three-digit numbers using base-ten blocks for support.
(5 minutes)
  • Explain to students that three-digit numbers can be separated into different place values. These place values are the ones, tens, and hundreds.
  • Project the Place Value Mat: Three-Digit Numbers on the whiteboard. Record the number 285 on the place value mat, separating each digit into the correct column. Tell the students that a digit is a number that has its own place value. Reinforce that the number 285 has three digits. That it why its called a three-digit number.
  • Ask students to identify the number of ones, tens, and hundreds in the number 285.
  • Use base-ten blocks to show your students a visual representation of 285.
  • Explain to the students that next they will practice writing this number in words. Explain that when writing in words we move from left to right.
  • Model how to record the number "two hundred eighty five."
(15 minutes)
  • Pass out the Place Value Mat: Three-Digit Numbers to each student. Give students an example number, such as 458.
  • Guide students to fill in the number on their place value mats as you record the number on yours.
  • Sketch base-ten blocks to show the number 458, or use tangible base-ten blocks. Remind students that small boxes represent the ones, tall rectangles represent the tens, and squares represent the hundreds.
  • Provide students with access to the base-ten blocks, or encourage them to use the sketching technique to show the number in a visual form.
  • Explain that the class is now going to practice the written form of the number. Remind students that we read the words from left to right.
  • Use a number anchor chart or word bank to display the different forms of a number to help your students remember (e.g. write the words one through ten on the chart or in the word bank).
  • Give your students another example number and ask them to fill in the place value mat and record the number in written form.
  • Challenge students to identify whether more or less base-ten blocks will be needed for each additional number.
(10 minutes)
  • Provide students with two more three-digit numbers. Write down the following steps on the whiteboard:
    1. Write the number down on the place value mat.
    2. Sketch the number using base-ten blocks or create the number using base-ten blocks.
    3. Write the number in written form.
  • Remind students to use the anchor chart for support.


  • Challenge students by providing them with ten numbers in written form and ask them to figure out how to write the numbers in base-ten form.


  • Allow students to work in partnerships.
  • Encourage students to use the base-ten blocks for support.
  • Provide students with an additional day to focus on writing the number in written form.
(5 minutes)
  • Hand out a sticky note to each student.
  • Have them answer the following two questions on the sticky note:
    • Write the number 684 in written form.
    • Draw the number 269 in base-ten blocks.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students why they think it is important to learn about three-digit numbers. Ask students to name what other times they have seen three-digit numbers when they’re not in school.
  • Review the lesson by reminding students that three-digit numbers are made of ones, tens, and hundreds.

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection


New Collection>

0 items