Lesson plan

Place Value practise

Introduce place value to your emerging mathematicians while focusing on the numbers 11–20. In this lesson, students will practise separating teen numbers into 10 ones and some additional ones using unifix cubes and ten frames.
Need extra help for EL students? Try theSnap Cube NumbersPre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try theSnap Cube NumbersPre-lesson.
  • Students will be able to count to 20.
  • Students will be able to separate teen numbers into 10 ones and some other ones, using objects, a ten frame and drawings.
The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
My Apple Tree
  • Gather students on the rug and display a number line.
  • Call their attention to the numbers 11–20, and tell the students that these are called the Teen numbers.
  • Activate prior knowledge by asking students what they know about numbers 11–20. Ask if they know someone between 11 and 20 years old, or where they may have seen these numbers. Have students turn and talk to a partner, and then choose a few volunteers to share out with the class.
  • Tell the students that today they will work on building numbers between 11 and 20 with cubes.
(10 minutes)
  • Display a blank Ten frameOn a document camera, or draw one on the board.
  • Choose a student volunteer to call out a number Between11 and 20, for example 16.
  • Model building the number 16 on the ten frame, adding unifix cubes or drawing squares on the ten frame one at a time as the class counts together. When the ten frame is full, place the left over cubes next to the ten frame.
  • Review that exactly ten cubes are needed to fill the ten frame. Explain that each cube is a one, and that exactly ten ones fit inside the ten frame.
  • Ask students to show you on their fingers how many cubes are outside of the ten frame. Agree that there are six ones outside the ten frame, recounting if some students do not show an accurate count on their fingers.
  • Point to the cubes inside the ten frame and say, "I have 10 ones." Then, point to the cubes outside the ten frame and say, "and six ones."
  • Ask students to whisper the total number of cubes to a partner.
  • Agree that there are 16 cubes total. Have students repeat the teen number verbally. Students can also practise writing the numeral in the air, or writing the numeral on their hand using their finger. Model writing the total number of cubes below the ten frame.
  • Choose a student to name a different number and repeat the procedure with two additional numbers between 11 and 20.
  • Choose a volunteer to be your partner to model the practise activity.
  • Have the student select a number randomly from a deck of number cards of one to 20. Think aloud, "My partner chose the number ____." Build the number with cubes using the ten frame. If the number is greater than ten, model placing extra cubes next to the ten frame.
  • Select a number and have your partner say the number. Then, build it using the ten frame.
  • Distribute a ten frame, a bag of 25 cubes and number cards one to 20 to pairs of students. Use cubes of the same colour if possible to minimize distraction.
  • Have pairs of students recount the number of squares in the ten frame, and tell their partner how many squares they counted.
  • Ask the students to show on their fingers how many squares they counted in the ten frame.
  • Instruct students to play in pairs and take turns. One student will select a number card and the other student will say the number and then build the number with cubes using the ten frame.
  • Encourage students to work together, take turns, and check each other's work.
  • Circulate and observe that students are counting accurately. Ask students how many cubes they placed on the work mat. Reinforce separating teen numbers into two parts by saying, "You have 10 ones and ____Ones."
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute the My Apple Tree worksheet to students.
  • Tell students to imagine that they are apple farmers. Instruct them to draw between 11 and 19 apples on the tree. When they have finished drawing the apples, tell them that they need to package the apples to sell at the farmers market. Ten apples will fit in a box. Have them circle 10 of the apples on the tree, and then count how many are left over.
  • Instruct students to write the total number of apples below the tree.


  • Instruct students to draw a specific number of apples.
  • Have students repeat the instructions to you: "First, draw ____Apples. Next, circle a group of 10 apples. Count the leftover apples outside the circle on the tree. Finally, write the total number of apples below the tree."
  • Provide a visual aid such as a number line for reference as students write the numeral. Have students point to each apple to recount before writing the numeral.


  • Challenge students to write a number sentence to represent the total number of apples, for example 10 + 7 = 17Or 17 = 10 + 7.
  • Have students to draw a second tree with a greater or lesser number of apples.
  • Encourage students to compare work with a partner or small group.
(5 minutes)
  • Collect work samples. Check that students drew between 11 and 19 apples, circled 10 apples, and wrote the total number of apples below the tree.
(5 minutes)
  • Invite volunteers to share their completed apple tree with the class. As students share their work reinforce separating teen numbers by saying, "I see ten ones and ____."
  • As students share their work, compare the total number of apples on different trees by talking about which trees have more, less, or the same number of apples as others.

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