Lesson plan

Strategic Links

What’s the missing link? In this lesson students will explore missing factors using three digit numbers. Using their knowledge of skip counting, students will determine the missing links.
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?

Students will be able to find missing factors when completing three digit addition problems.

(5 minutes)
  • Invite students to sit in a circle.
  • Tell the students that they will be tossing a bean bag to the person next to them as they skip count.
  • Give the students a starting number such as 24 and a skip counting pattern, such as for them to add three.
  • Invite students to add on three to the previous number before tossing the bean bag to the person next to them.
  • Tell the students that they will be learning how to use addition to find missing factors in three digit numbers.
(5 minutes)
  • Tell the students that a missing factor is an unknown number. It can be in a sequence of numbers or in an addition problem.
  • Tell the students that they are going to make connections to skip counting and find missing factors in the middle of number sequences.
  • Using a number pattern of choice with a blank in the middle (such as 326, 328, ____, 332, 334) show the students how you can analyze two numbers that are next to each other and determine the pattern. For example, 326 + 2 = 328 and 332 + 2 = 334, so 328 + 2 = 330. The missing factor is 330.
  • Show the students how to use this pattern to find the missing link in the number sequence.
(10 minutes)
  • Divide the students into small groups of three or four students each.
  • Distribute one set of numbered index cards to each small group.
  • Write the following sequence on the board and ask each group of students to place the cards in the following order: 225, 229, ____, 237, and 241.
  • Ask the students to work together and figure out how much is added to each number to get the next number.
  • Challenge the students to find the number that is the missing link.
  • If needed, give the students additional number sequences to practice in a small group.
(15 minutes)
  • Ask the students to complete the Number Pattern Parachute worksheet.


  • Invite students to use the Tidy Sum 1000 worksheet to play the game together.


  • For students who have difficulty with the abstract concept of finding missing factors, invite students to create base ten drawings or to draw as they count on.
  • Allow students to use base ten blocks to represent the abstract numbers.
  • Invite students to create digital representations of finding the missing links (factors) such as creating a diagram or an electronic drawing that shows how factors in sequences are found.
(5 minutes)
  • Distribute individual whiteboards and whiteboard markers to the students.
  • Ask the students to complete the following sequence, finding the missing addition links on their whiteboards: 653, 658, 663, ___, 673, and 678.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students to share how the strategy of finding missing links or factors is different from other addition strategies.
  • Invite students to think, pair, share with their neighbors and then to share in a class discussion.

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection


New Collection>

0 items