Lesson Plan

Three-Digit Addition with Base-Ten Models

Give your students a conceptual understanding of three-digit addition with this lesson focused on base-ten blocks and drawings.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Base-Ten Blocks pre-lesson.
View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Base-Ten Blocks pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to use base-ten models to solve three-digit addition problems.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(2 minutes)
Three-Digit AdditionBase 10 BlocksPlace Value Mat: Three-Digit Numbers
  • Tell students that today they will use base-ten models to solve addition problems.


  • Provide students with a notecard that has the vocabulary word base-ten models on the front and a visual representation on the back.
  • Sketch a base-ten model on the whiteboard, a regular addition problem, and a three-digit number written in expanded form. Ask students to come up to the whiteboard to point to the base-ten model and encourage them to orally label the model (ie. "This is a base-ten model.")


  • Ask students to explain what they know about base-ten models to a peer.
  • Encourage students to reflect on the purpose of using base-ten models. Provide sentence frames to support students in sharing their ideas, such as:
    • I think we use base-ten models to ________.