Teach Place Value Using Sidewalk Chalk. Fun!

Learning place values + Fun outside = A Great Time

teach place value

Looking for a refreshing way to teach place value? This lesson idea takes advantage of a little kid favorite — sidewalk chalk! You can head outside and let your kids draw, create, and learn math. Or you can do this place value lesson inside on black construction paper. This is also a great activity to share with parents for learning over the summer.

Teach Place Value With Sidewalk Chalk Lesson

You’ll need:

  • colored chalk (or pastels)
  • black paper
  • ruler

What to do:

Have your students choose three different colors of chalk. They will create three different types of lines.

  • Vertical lines represent the ones.
  • Horizontal lines represent the tens.
  • Diagonal lines represent the hundreds.

Then, have them make a color key to represent each place (example: pink = hundreds, blue = tens, and yellow = ones). Also, it’s a good idea to have them write down their number for each place on a piece of scrap paper, while they are making their art. This will help students remember how many of each color line they made. Once they have their key, they make their chalk line art on black paper! When they have finished their art, you can use hairspray to prevent smearing.


Looking for more fun ways to get outside and teach place value at the same time? We love this capture the flag math game (and your students will love it too).

How do you teach place value? Let us know in the comments.