Place Value Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Is it ten cents or ten dollars? Clarify the concept of place value with your students through an engaging video lesson paired with a simple in-class activity. If extra time is required, utilize our suggestions for additional activities and related lessons.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify decimal points
  • illustrate the relationship between decimal points and place value


30 minutes to 1 hour


  • Assortment of price tags with varying amounts

Curriculum Standards


Understand that the three digits of a three-digit number represent amounts of hundreds, tens, and ones; e.g., 706 equals 7 hundreds, 0 tens, and 6 ones. Understand the following as special cases:


100 can be thought of as a bundle of ten tens -- called a hundred.


  • Begin by passing out the price tags, two per student.
  • Ask the students to identify the decimal points on their price tags.
  • Now have them tell you the price in dollars and cents. How many dollars? How many cents? How can they tell? Discuss this as a class.
  • Play the video lesson What is a Decimal Place Value?, pausing at 1:36.
  • Have the students respond to the question posed in the video lesson by saying the number aloud.
  • Resume the video lesson and pause again at 1:41. How many students said it correctly?
  • Play the video again, pausing this time at 1:59.
  • Ask the students to copy the number, along with the designated place values, that is displayed on the screen on their own papers.
  • Resume the video lesson and pause at 2:30.
  • Once again, have students copy the number breakdown listed on the screen onto their own papers.
  • Play the video lesson again and pause at 4:04.
  • Now have students copy down the place values listed on the screen.
  • Play the remainder of the video lesson.
  • Have students pull out their price tags again. They should use their notes to practice identifying place values on the price tags.
  • When students have identified the place values on their price tags, have them switch price tags with a classmate and identify the place values on these as well.
  • Continue swapping price tags among students until each student has practiced on at least ten price tags.

Discussion Questions

  • How can we change the value on our price tags by shifting the decimal point right or left?
  • Why is it important to understand place value?


  • Give students a worksheet with assorted place value problems.
  • Have students use different denominations of coins to represent place value.

Related Lessons

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