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A Place Value Lesson in a Game Format




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Title: The Place Value Game
Author: Terry Sayre, Tigard,
Grade Level: 1-8
Subject: Math


In this activity, students will play a game that reinforces their place value skills.


Students will demonstrate their understanding of place value to 1,000,000.


  • dice
  • overhead of activity sheet
  • activity sheets (one per student)

In order to facilitate this activity, you must create an activity sheet. The activity sheet can be easily made with a spreadsheet application or with pencil and paper.

Designing an Activity Sheet:

  1. Create a spreadsheet with 10 columns and fifteen rows.
  2. In the top left cell write “millions.” In the next cell write “one-hundred thousands”, and then “ten-thousands” in the next and so on until you end with “ones” on the far, right cell of the activity sheet.

Activities and Procedures:


  1. Facilitate a team builder activity that creates two person cooperative teams.
  2. Ask the class “How long would it take to count to a million?”
  3. In pairs, students will predict how far they could count in two minutes. Using a timer, one student in each pair will begin to quietly count while the other partner monitors the count. At the end of two minutes ask partners to record how far they counted. Then ask the students to switch roles.

Lesson Outline

  1. Review place value with the class.
  2. Explain to the class that you are going to play a game with them. The winner of the game must have the highest number.
  3. On the overhead, role a die. The students should put the number that was rolled on the activity sheet that will give them the highest number.
  4. Play the game with the class two or three times or until they get the hang of it.
  5. Give the class time to play this game with their partners. Before each round, cooperative groups should decide if they are trying for a high number or a low number.


  1. Review of place value to 1,000,000.
  2. Ask the class what they liked most about this activity.


Try adding or taking away place values or inserting decimals points to make the game easier or more challenging!

E-Mail Terry !

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