This activity provides students with practice ordering numbers 1 to 10. The activity also teaches students the importance of starting with the largest number on bottom, a concept which can later be applied to basic addition. Make sure you are playing with the students so they can hear and see your instructions.


  • 1

    Have students stack each number in order.

    (4 min)

    Purpose: Practice adding numbers in order (1-10).

    • Start with a "1-block," then add a "2-block," then a "3-block," etc.
    • If students have trouble with the verbal instruction say, "Start with the smallest block and then add the next biggest block."
    • Build with the students so they can see examples as well as hear verbal instruction.
    Stacking blocks
  • 2

    Build a new tower with the "10 block" on bottom.

    (3 min)

    • Add in sequence the "10-block," "9-block," "8-block," etc.
    • If students build all the way to the "1-block" let them continue adding any numbers they choose as bonus numbers.
    • Ask students, "If we count to 10, the blocks are this high. Why is our tower higher?" Introduce addition. Addition is when we keep the previous number and stack a new number on top of it.
    Stacking blocks
  • 3

    Ask, "Did you like the 10 on bottom or the 1?"

    (1 min)

    Purpose: Encourage students to start with the larger numbers on bottom and then add the smaller on top.

    • Say, "Did you notice the tower is sturdiest / strongest with the large numbers stacked on the bottom?"
    Stacking blocks
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