Place Value Detectives: Enrichment Activities for Critical Thinking

Grade Levels
Product Rating
File Type
Compressed Zip File
Be sure that you have an application to open this file type before downloading and/or purchasing.
How to unzip files.
53.42 MB   |   54 pages


Place Value Detectives includes 15 higher order thinking puzzles designed to challenge and engage your high flyers and fast finishers. Your students will utilize critical thinking and problem solving skills while building a deep and solid understanding of place value. Each of the 15 activities offers an interesting, non-routine way to explore essential math concepts and skills.

Each place value riddle provides a series of 5-6 mathematical clues. Students use the clues to determine the value of the mystery number. While the focus of each activity is place value, the 15 riddles include a variety of upper elementary math skills, concepts, and vocabulary to promote integrated learning and challenge. For example, riddle 2 reads:

• I am a five digit even number.
• All of my digits are factors of 24.
• 4/5 of my digits are even.
• The digit in my thousands place equals the perimeter of a 2 x 2 array.
• The digit in my ten thousands place is twice the value of the digit in the hundreds place, but half the value of the digit in the thousands place.
• The digit in my tens place equals the number of lines of symmetry in an isosceles triangle.

The focus is on place value, yet students also need to apply their understanding of fractions, factors, multiplication arrays, properties of 2D shapes, and academic math vocabulary in order to solve this riddle.

Focus Skills and Concepts Include:
• Read, write, and compare multi-digit whole numbers using base ten numerals and expanded form.
• Use place value to round multi-digit whole numbers to any place.

Support Skills and Concepts Include:
• Units of measurement
• Fractions (1/2, ¼, 1/3, 2/3, 4/5)
• Factors and multiples
• Basic multiplication and division
• Properties of 2-dimensional shapes
• Area and perimeter
• Math vocabulary (ex: prime, composite, sum, quotient etc.)

This resource includes:
• No-Prep Printable Activities
• Task Cards (in color and black & white)
• Cooperative Learning Cards (in color and black & white)
• Task Card Recording Sheet
• Answer Key

The 15 activities are provided in three different formats:

1. No-Prep Printables: There are five 8.5 x 11 pages with 3 riddles on each page. They are great for centers, stations, anchor activities, bell ringers, independent work, and interactive bulletin boards. (You can learn more about how I use interactive bulletin boards here. )

2. Task Cards: The 15 cards are formatted 4 to a page. Cards can be laminated and used as task cards or cut apart and glued into math journals or interactive notebooks.

3. Cooperative Learning Cards: There are 15 sets of cooperative learning cards. Each set is made up of one Place Value Detective riddle. The clues are separated onto four different cards. Each member of the team is given one card, or one piece of the puzzle. Students then work together to reach the solution.

The three different formats are included to help you adapt this resource to best meet the needs of your students and instruction.

Place Value Detectives are great for:
• Math Centers and Stations
• Anchor Activities
• Cooperative Learning
• Independent Enrichment
• Bell Ringers/Morning Work
• Anticipatory Activities/Learning “Hooks”

Place Value Detectives is designed for high ability 4th grade students.


You can also purchase Place Value Detectives at MORE than a 20% DISCOUNT HERE as part of a Place Value Enrichment Bundle!


Please contact me if you have questions or feedback; I’d love to hear from you!

© Christy Howe 2016. Materials are intended for personal use in one classroom only. For use in multiple classrooms, please purchase additional licenses.

If you and your students enjoy these activities, you may also like the following differentiated enrichment activities:

Decimal Detectives.
THINK! Math Enrichment Activities (grades 4-5).
THINK! Math Enrichment Activities (grades 3-4).
Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration

Average Ratings

Overall Quality:
23 ratings
Please log in to post a question.
Digital Download
User Rating: 4.0/4.0
Digital Download
Place Value Detectives: Enrichment Activities for Critical
Place Value Detectives: Enrichment Activities for Critical
Place Value Detectives: Enrichment Activities for Critical
Place Value Detectives: Enrichment Activities for Critical