5 Resources for Teaching Place Value in Upper Elementary

Teaching place value in upper elementary has never been easier with these 5 resources.

I’ve got 1,000,000 reasons to teach place value, so I want you ‘2 Comma’ check it out! 

Ha! I love some good math puns. 

Teaching place value is a staple of 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade, and teachers are always looking for fun, interesting ways to help students give this ‘valuable’ knowledge a ‘place’ in their growing brains…see what I did there.

Lucky for you, we’ve got several resources in the Undercover Classroom shop and in the blog vault that will help your students learn, practice, and review place value. 

Although the 5 resources on this list are designed for particular grade levels, many teachers use them to differentiate for students in their classes. 4th grade teachers frequently use the Taco Build-It activity (which is typically used with 3rd grade) to help some struggling learners, and 3rd grade teachers will use the Sundae Build-It activity (typically used in 4th and 5th grade) with their advanced students.

But before we get into the store, let’s begin with a blog post!

#1| Teaching Place Value Blog Post: Pill Box Place Value Tools

In this blog post about teaching place value, I go into great depth (with pictures) explaining how I use pill boxes to make place value tools for my students. These pill boxes are available for cheap at the local dollar store, and the 7 daily slots work perfectly for practicing place value up to the millions. 

#2| Place Value Lapbook

After a year of computer time, lapbooks are just what your students need to get in those ever-important fine motor skills while also creating an interactive tool they can use to learn about and practice place value.

This lapbook is designed to be an ongoing reference and to supplement a teacher’s place value unit. Take a look at the picture above for more information, and don’t forget that you can always find a full preview at the store!

#3| Place Value Scavenger Hunt

If you are wanting a one-time activity to work on place value with students, this scavenger hunt may be exactly what you need. Great for a sub day or on a day before or after a break, this activity will get students up and moving while also practicing and reviewing what they know about place value.

In this fun enrichment activity, students will use the clues on their scavenger hunt sheets to find cards hidden around the room that will help them solve a riddle. The clues will require students to know place values, add and subtract numbers up to almost 1 billion, and both identify the numeral versions and the written out versions of the numbers.

#4| Place Value Digital Build-It TACO Activity

Students will be highly motivated to solve these place value word problems as they earn pieces to build a taco! Each correct answer will unlock a new part, and students will gain practice with Common Core Standard 3.NBT. The activity involves 8 word problems that involve reading, writing, and comparing multi-digit whole numbers using base-ten numerals, number names, and expanded form. To make this an extra awesome resource for teachers, we have included 2 levels to allow for in-class differentiation. The enrichment level problems are perfect for gifted students.

Although this resource was designed with 3rd grade in mind, it is a solid scaffolding activity for students in 4th grade as well or for use at the beginning of the year in 4th grade as a pre-assessment. 

#5| Place Value Digital Build-It SUNDAE Activity

Just like the taco activity above, this fully digital activity has two different levels for the purpose of differentiation. However, unlike the Taco activity, this Build-It Sundae Activity is created for and used most often in 4th and 5th grade. 

These two activities are just a few of the many Build-It Activities we’ve created over here at Undercover Classroom. To see the full Build-It Bundle and take advantage of the bundle discount, click here!

We hope these resources will prove useful to you as you begin developing your place value unit. For all of the place value resources available from Undercover Classroom, click here!


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