Pick a Place Value

Pick a Place Value lesson plan

Confused about place value? Roll for the highest numbers you can in this exciting game. Soon the numerals will always fall into the right place.

  • 1.

    Organize students in a central area of the classroom such as the reading rug. Begin a conversation about place value. Why is this an important concept to understand? Ask students how their parents use place value every day? How do students use place value? what do they already know about place value? Discussion to follow.

  • 2.

    To assist with learning about place value, invite students to work in small groups to make a place value game. Students begin by making a number cube. Shape a cube with Crayola Model Magic®. Press on dots of a contrasting color. Make sure the sums of opposite sides of the cube equal 7 (2 and 5, 6 and 1, 3 and 4). Dry your cube overnight.

  • 3.

    Next, students create a game board. Use Crayola Rainbow Twistables to give the paper game board an eye-catching title. With Crayola Washable Markers, divide the rest of the paper into columns and rows. The number of columns determines how high you will be rolling (five columns are for tens of thousands, seven columns are millions). How many rows are you ready to play?

  • 4.

    Groups are ready to play! Roll the cube. Decide in which column to place the numeral and record it with a Twistable. Try to create the highest number you can in each row. Repeat rolling until all the columns in one row have been filled. Figure out what the highest possible number could have been if numerals had been put in different places. Repeat for each row.

  • 5.

    Determine strategies. Students write some of their strategies for playing Pick a Place Value. Display completed game boards next to written strategies. Ready for competition?


  • LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • MATH: Generalize place value understanding for multidigit whole numbers.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.


  • Challenge students to roll for the lowest possible number!
  • Encourage students to organize a tournament in the class. How will they track progress?
  • Invite students to investigate the history of the abacus. How does this early calculator adapt itself to any base numbering system?