Professional Learning Podcast Treasury Lesson Plans Personal Workspace Site Search ALEXville Learning Assets Home Courses of Study
Home  |    Add Bookmark   |   Print Friendly   |   Rate This Lesson Plan   |   Suggest a Variation

Lesson Plan

You may save this lesson plan to your hard drive as an html file by selecting "File", then "Save As" from your browser's pull down menu. The file name extension must be .html.

This lesson provided by:
Author:Jessica Jeffers
System: Enterprise City
School: Hillcrest Elementary School
Lesson Plan ID: 23980

Decimal War


Students will use base 10 manipulatives to build models of decimal numbers. Students will compare decimal numbers.
This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.

Content Standard(s):
MA2015(5) 6. Read, write, and compare decimals to thousandths. [5-NBT3]
MA2015(5) 7. Use place value understanding to round decimals to any place. [5-NBT4]
Local/National Standards:

NM-NUM.3-5.1 Understand the place-value structure of the base 10 number system and be able to represent and compare whole numbers and decimals (NCTM National Standard for 3rd -5th grade).

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will compare and build representations of decimal numbers.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will be able to read aloud a given decimal properly (to the hundredths place).

Approximate Duration of the Lesson: 31 to 60 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:

Base 10 manipulatives, decimal cards, dimes, and pennies (optional).

Technology Resources Needed:

LCD projector (optional)
Interactive white board
This is a great site to demonstrate the concept using technology. NCTM Illuminations Fraction Model Illuminations Fraction Model


Students need to have a basic understanding of the difference between whole numbers and decimal numbers. Students also need to have a basic understanding of the relationship between decimals and fractions.

1.)Place students into pairs based on abilities (for example, a high with a middle; a middle with a low) and pass out base 10 manipulatives.

2.)Show students the 10 x 10 flat and explain that for today this will represent our whole (Interactive WhiteBoard can be used to demonstrate).
(Base 10 blocks Whole and Decimal Numbers)
This website offers online base 10 manipulatives that students can manipulate on the smart board or work independently on later.

3.)Ask students what fraction of the whole the stick of ten would represent. (Students should be able to express that the stick of ten equals 1/10 of the whole.)

4.)Show students how to write this as a fraction and as a decimal (see base 10 attachment).

5.)Repeat this procedure for the cube (1/100 or .01).

6.)Ask students to think about the base 10 blocks as money. What piece of money do they think each of the base 10 manipulatives would represent? Discuss what a difference the decimal point makes when you are using money. Remind students that during this activity it may be helpful to think of the decimals in terms of money. The teacher may choose to use examples of money for demonstration.

7.)Give students the number 2.31 and ask them to work with their partner to build that number using their manipulatives (see demo picture).

8.)Demonstrate how to play the game of decimal war. The teacher should play against another student and build numbers using base 10 overhead manipulatives.

9.)Pass out a stack of decimal cards for each child (see decimal card document). Each person draws a card and builds their decimal. The largest decimal wins the cards. Remind students that they are required to build the decimal number and read it aloud in order to win the cards.

10.)Partners begin to play and can call a penalty on the other player if they do not read and build their decimal correctly.

Attachments:**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download. decimal cards.rtf
base 10 picture.JPG
demo picture.JPG
Assessment Strategies:

Walk the floor and monitor the groups as they play. Ask questions to check for understanding. Have students write their responses to the following two questions. If you could add a new decimal card to your deck what would it be and why? If you could remove one card from your deck, which card would you remove and why? Have students share their responses with their partner and then open up a whole group discussion by having students write responses on an interactive white board, if available.


Students that have already mastered decimals to the hundredths place can be given decimal cards with place values to the thousandths place.


Students may find the use of the base 10 manipulatives helpful during future assignments and may also draw visual representations of the decimals.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
Variations Submitted by ALEX Users:
Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

Hosted by Alabama Supercomputer Authority
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
Best of the Web