Lesson Plan

Base-Ten Block Party

Help your students practice place value with this fun, hands-on base-ten block game. Neighborhood block teams compete to win points as they work together to show expanded numbers.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Showing Numbers in Different Ways pre-lesson.
View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Showing Numbers in Different Ways pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to read and write numbers to 1,000.
The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(10 minutes)
  • Gather students together and explain that today they will practice base-ten numbers with a pretend neighborhood Block Party game.
  • Ask students to raise their hands if they have ever been to a block party, or a party held for everyone who lives on a neighborhood block.
  • Next, ask students to give you the street name or number address of the party.
  • Write each address on the board, and then add a verbal description of the address. For example: Jacobi went to a party at 1000 Grand St., at the 10th block of Grand, at the corner house.
  • Reinforce the connection that each address indicates where a place is, with numbers and word descriptions.
  • Explain that when we write numbers in expanded form it’s like giving more details about an address. Expanded form is when we take numbers apart to show the value of each number’s place. In contrast, writing numbers in base-ten numerals means we write the number keeping each digit in its corresponding place value.
  • Tell the class that they will be practicing place value, or the value of each digit in a number. To do this, they will show the expanded form of three-digit numbers while playing a game.
  • Divide students into three “block party” neighborhood teams: the red “hundreds” team, green “tens” team, and blue “ones” team.


  • Show an image of a block party to support students' understanding.
  • Provide students with a notecard that has a four-digit number written on it with place values labeled (e.g. ones, tens, hundreds, thousands).
  • Allow students to access base-ten blocks for support throughout the lesson.


  • Have students think-pair-share what a block party is in their own words with an elbow partner.
  • Instruct students to come up with a three-digit number and ask them to write it on the whiteboard. Challenge students to point to and say the digits that represent the place value of the ones, tens, and hundreds.
  • Give students a student-friendly definition of key terms in English (L2) and their home language (L1). Include words such as ones, tens, hundreds, and thousands.