Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Roll a Decimal

Cindy Beckham
Santa Rosa District Schools


By the roll of a die, students place digits in the place value chart to create a number having the greatest or least value possible.


The student compares and orders fractions and decimals using graphic models, number lines, and symbols.


- One large die (a 10cm by 10cm by 10cm) for a teacher demonstration
- One die per two students
- Paper and pencil for each student
- Worksheet on comparing fractions (see associated file)


1. Before having the students complete this activity, teach a lesson on the meaning of the place value chart. Discuss how each place to the left has a value 10 times more than the place to the right of it.
2. Make the large die used for the teacher demonstration from poster board. Use a cube pattern to make the die.
3. Obtain the number of dice needed for the classes. (1 per every 2 students)
4. Duplicate the worksheet on comparing decimals.


1. On the board write the following 0._ _ _ _ . Review from a previous lesson, the place value chart including the tenths, hundredths, thousandths, and ten-thousandths places. To demonstrate what the students are to be doing, the teacher rolls the large die, and selects an appropriate place to put the digit that was rolled in order to create a number with the largest value possible. For example, if a 5 or 6 is rolled, I would place it in the tenths place. If a 1 or 2 were rolled, I would put it in the ten-thousandths place. Once a digit is written in a place, it cannot be moved. Then demonstrate the same process, but trying to create the smallest number possible.

2. Arrange the students in pairs. Try placing students in pairs by ability levels. Place high performing students with average performing students. Place low performing students with average performing students.

3. Within the pair of students, one will roll to create a large number and then the other will roll to create a large number. The student with the larger number will record that as a win for him/her. Continue this process for four more rounds. The student with the most wins receives a prize (possibly a piece of candy or extra points). Repeat this process, but this time they will roll to create the smallest numbers. Allow students to come back together and discuss/compare their numbers. Review the place value names and sizes. Ask for questions.

4. Have students complete the worksheet on comparing decimals. (See attached file.)

5. Teacher assesses activity.


Have students complete the worksheet on comparing decimals. Students who do not indicate a firm understanding will need additional practice and feedback.

Attached Files

A worksheet on comparing decimals.     File Extension: pdf

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