The main purpose of this activity is to provide students with practice breaking numbers into various parts to reinforce the concept that two smaller numbers can equal a larger number. This activity is also a great opportunity to reinforce stacking the largest number first.


  • 1

    Have students take turns adding a section to the same tower.

    (5 min)

    Purpose: Gives students repetition with decomposing sums less than 10.

    • Sections are arranged with two sides and a top block as illustrated.
    • Limit beginners to a max wall height of 5.
    • The tower with the most blocks wins!
    Stacking blocks
  • 2

    Ask, "Who used the most blocks in their tower?"

    (3 min)

    • Help students count up the blocks in their tower.
    • Show students that they can break numbers apart using smaller numbers to add more blocks to their towers.
    Stacking blocks
  • 3

    What other combinations are there?

    (2 min)

    • Let students explore breaking apart some of the larger numbers.
    Stacking blocks
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