EL Support Lesson

Exploring Number Forms

Help students discover how to show numbers in different ways while providing ample opportunities for students to contribute to conversations. Use as a pre-lesson to Let's Jump to Add Two-Digit Numbers or as a stand-alone lesson.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theLet's Jump to Add Two-Digit NumbersLesson plan.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards

No standards associated with this content.

No standards associated with this content.

No standards associated with this content.

Which set of standards are you looking for?

This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theLet's Jump to Add Two-Digit NumbersLesson plan.

Students will be able to read and write numbers to 1,000 using base-ten numbers, number names, and expanded form.


Students will be able to ask clarifying questions with content specific vocabulary in order to write numbers to 1,000 in base-ten, expanded, and written form using partnerships and sentence frames for support.

(4 minutes)
Information Gap: Numbers in Many WaysVocabulary Cards: Exploring Number FormsGlossary: Exploring Number FormsTeach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives Reference
  • Gather the class together and write Base-ten numeral,Expanded form,And Number nameOn the whiteboard.
  • Read each word aloud and ask students to think about the meaning of each word. Have students think-pair-share their ideas and provide sentence stems and frames to support their ideas, such as:
    • I notice ____.
    • I think ____Means ____Because ____.
  • Allow a few students to share their ideas. Encourage them to come up to the whiteboard to act as the teacher. Encourage students to create visuals, words, and phrases next to the vocabulary words if they feel comfortable. Ask prompting questions to elicit more meaningful feedback.
  • Explain to the students that today they will be learning about different number forms. Read the language objective in student-friendly language and define any words within the objective that may be unfamiliar. Ask students to restate word meanings in their own words to check for understanding.
(8 minutes)
  • Divide the class into five small groups and pass out a copy of the Vocabulary Cards to each student.
  • Read through the student-friendly definitions, referring to the visuals to support student understanding.
  • Assign each partnership one of the vocabulary words and challenge them to think of another visual that could be used to represent the meaning of the vocabulary card.
  • Call one student volunteer from each small group to the front of the room to explain the visual they chose and justify their reasoning.
  • Provide sentence frames to support students as they share their ideas, such as:
    • We chose to draw ____Because ____.
    • This drawing helps me understand the meaning of ____(insert vocabulary word) because ____.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell the class that now they will work in partnerships to solve problems.
  • Explain that they will be put into A-B partnerships for the "Numbers in Many Ways" activity. Put students into partnerships and project the first page from the Information Gap: Numbers in Many Ways worksheet with the directions and visuals listed. Read the directions step-by-step, stopping after each step to have students think-pair-share their understanding of what the step is asking them to do. Encourage students to refer to the visuals for support.
  • Model how to complete the Information Gap Cards activity, and engage the class in collectively being Partner B while you demonstrate how to be Partner A.
  • Display the Example 1 card for Partner A from the Information Gap: Numbers in Many Ways worksheet. Explain that the card has Partner A, some missing information, and a question on it.
  • Display the Example 1 card for Partner B from the worksheet. Explain that this will be the card that Partner B has, and it has the missing information that Partner A needs.
  • Instruct the class to say, "What information do you need?" in unison.
  • Say, "The question on my card is, 'What number form am I?' I know we read about three number forms in our vocabulary cards. The forms were base-ten numerals, expanded form, and number names. I also have some information here. It says, 'I am a number with each digit in its ____.' I need the last word so I can decide which number form corresponds to the definition."
  • Instruct the class to say, "Why do you need that information?"
  • Say, "I need that information because I want to complete the sentence. Then, I can decide which number form corresponds to the definition."
  • Instruct the class to say, "Place Value" in unison.
  • Read the completed sentence aloud. Ask students to think-pair-share what the number form is.
  • Allow a few students to share their ideas. Clarify that base-ten numeral is the correct answer. Refer to the vocabulary card and corresponding visuals to support students in understanding the answer.
  • Reinforce that students can use their Vocabulary Cards for support during the activity.
(10 minutes)
  • Put students into A-B partnerships and give each partnership two bags of cards (one with A cards, the other with B cards).
  • Explain to the students that they should refer to the Vocabulary Cards to support them as necessary.
  • Instruct students to decide who will be Partner A and who will be Partner B. Assist this process as necessary. Explain to the students that Partner A has the question and some information while Partner B has the information needed to complete Partner A's card.
  • Remind students to refer to the numbers on the lefthand corner of their cards. If Partner A has 1, Partner B should have 1 as well. The numbers must match before starting the activity.
  • Allow students to begin the activity, and remind them not to write on the cards because they will be used again. Circulate around the room to provide feedback and support. Observe language used and remind students to reference the directions projected on the whiteboard as they complete the activity.
  • Once students have finished the first set of cards, instruct them to swap roles, so that Partner B becomes Partner A and vice versa. Refer to the bags of cards and make sure students choose another set of cards that have matching numbers.
  • Continue this process until students have had a chance to finish most of their cards.


  • Allow students to work in partnerships with sympathetic non-EL students or students who speak the same home language (L1) during explicit teaching.
  • Provide teacher-led instruction for students during the information gap activity.


  • Encourage students to discuss their ideas without referring to the sentence stems and frames for support.
  • Challenge students to detail the process of the information gap activity in their journals using their own words and visuals.
  • See if students are able to create their own information gap cards on number forms, using two blank notecards.
(5 minutes)
  • Rotate around the classroom as students are completing the Information Gap: Numbers in Many Ways activity.
  • Take pictures of students who show appropriate speaking and listening skills. These pictures can be used at a later time when discussing language goals during group activities. Jot down words, phrases, and sentences you hear.
  • Refer back to these observations to support you as you plan other lessons on exploring number forms.
(3 minutes)
  • Gain students' attention and encourage a partnership to provide feedback about how the activity supported them in understanding number forms.
  • Provide sentence stems to support students' ideas, such as:
    • The activity helped me figure out the answer because ____.
    • My partner and I worked well together because ____.
    • I'm still not sure how to ____.
  • Remind students that exploring different ways to represent numbers will help them become better mathematicians!

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection