Lesson plan

Place Value: Digit Game

Help your students understand place values with this lesson that catches their interest using a story book. Students will go one to play a riddle game both in a group and individually.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will understand the value of place values.

(15 minutes)
  • Read the story Sir Cumference and All the King's Tens.
  • Talk about how, when we were looking at the number of guests showing up for the party, we were able to see how many thousands, hundreds, tens, and ones of people were coming. Review the place values with your students.
  • Point out how it is explained that each digit is worth 10 times more than the place value to the right of it.
(10 minutes)
  • Draw a place value chart on the board.
  • Put up an example 3-digit number and explain what each number in each place means. For example, if you have 553, there are five hundreds, five tens, and three ones.
  • Also point out that though there is a five in both the hundreds and tens places, the five in the hundreds place is worth ten times as much as the five in the tens place.
  • Repeat this process with a few like examples.
(10 minutes)
  • Divide your class into working groups and hand out base ten blocks and place value charts.
  • Give students the following problem to solve as a group: *Rachel chose 6 base ten blocks. The value of her blocks is more than 200 and less than 220. She only used two sizes, or types, of blocks. Which blocks did Rachel choose?
  • Circulate and assist students as needed.
  • Have student groups share what they found out in this activity with their peers.
(15 minutes)
  • Pass out more place value charts and base ten blocks if needed.
  • Have students work independently to complete the following riddle: There's a number that is less than 300. The ones digit is greater than the tens digit. It takes 11 base ten blocks to represent this number. What is it?
  • Note: There are many possible solutions for this riddle.
  • Enrichment: As a challenge, have students find all the numbers that this riddle could refer to.
  • Support: Struggling students would benefit from one-on-one help, or could work with a partner. Prompting the student at the beginning of the work time would also be helpful. For example, if the number is under 300, then the maximum number of hundred blocks would be two.
(5 minutes)
  • Assess students based on their ability to solve the riddle during independent working time.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students share how they figured out the numbers that could solve the riddle. Ask who found more than one number, or if anyone found 5 possible numbers.

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