Lesson plan

Place Value Concentration

Put your students to the test with this lesson that helps them learn the tens and ones places with a memory game and worksheet!
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Building in Base-Ten pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Building in Base-Ten pre-lesson.

Students will be able to identify the tens place and the ones place in a number.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Explain to the students that today, they will be working with tens and ones.
  • Remind them how we get tens and ones. Count out a group of objects and place them in groups of 10. We get ones from the leftover items that aren't enough to make a group of ten.
  • Show them a group of ten bundled together.
  • Be sure to show them the ones left over and how they are not bundled or grouped together because there are not enough to make a group of ten.
(15 minutes)
  • Pass out the dry erase boards, markers, and tissues to each student.
  • Tell students that they are to listen and write the number you recite.
  • Make sure all eyes are on you. Tell the students that you are thinking of a number that has 3 tens and 4 ones. Repeat at least 2 more times.
  • The students should say it aloud also. They should then write the number they think it is.
  • Remind them that in two-digit numbers, the tens come first and the ones are written beside it.
  • Ask the students to tell you what number is made from 3 tens and 4 ones. Then tell them to show you their boards.
  • Check to see if anyone wrote the incorrect answer. If anyone did, walk them through the number again while writing it on the board.
  • Do a few more numbers in this way.
(15 minutes)
  • Place the students in groups of 4-5, depending on the size of the class.
  • Give each group a set of tens and ones Place Value cards.
  • Tell the students that you will now flip the script and give them the number, and they must work together to show you the number of tens and the number of ones that make up that number.
  • Make sure the students are listening carefully. Call out a number.
  • Tell the students to think about the tens and ones that make up the number.
  • Ask them which number is the tens and which number is the ones.
  • Now let them show you using the tens and ones cards.
  • Remind them that the tens always comes first in two-digit numbers.
  • For the next 10 minutes, continue calling out numbers and having students show you the tens and ones cards that make up that number.
(15 minutes)
  • Collect the tens and ones Place Value cards.
  • Let the students remain in their groups.
  • Pass out the Place Value Concentration cards to each group. Before you pass them out, be sure the cards are well shuffled.
  • Tell the students to turn the cards face down.
  • Ask the students how many of them have played the game Concentration. If the students are not familiar with the game, explain to them that each person gets a chance to turn over 2 cards. They have to match the tens and ones card to the correct number. If the numbers match, they get to take those two cards and immediately get 1 more turn. If the 2 numbers do not match they must turn the cards back over. Be sure to tell them to remember where each card is located so that they can make matches.
  • Let each group decide who goes first and the rest will follow clockwise.
  • Walk around and observe each group as they are playing Concentration. Be sure to give assistance and make sure the students are playing the game correctly.
  • After 10 minutes is up, call time.
  • The students should count their cards. Whoever has the most is the winner of the game.


  • Give students index cards and encourage them to make their own tens and ones number cards to make their own Concentration game.


  • Give these students a dry erase board, marker, and tissue. Repeat how to write a given number from tens and ones.
(5 minutes)
  • Pass out the Cupcake Match worksheet.
  • Students should be able to complete this sheet very quickly.
  • Collect these papers and grade them to assess your students' comprehension.
(5 minutes)
  • Let the students turn and talk to each other about how to put tens and ones together to make a two-digit number.
  • They should also discuss how to deconstruct a two-digit number and identify the tens and ones in that number.

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