Math in Our World: Block Towers

A fabric basket filled with assorted building blocks.

Jimmy loves to build block towers. The taller the tower, the better!

Here is his basket of blocks. It has 40 pieces in it.

Jimmy built two towers. The first one used 18 pieces. The second one used 10 pieces.

  1. Use pictures, models, or numbers to show what is happening.
  2. What do you notice? What do you wonder?
  3. What math questions can you ask about this situation? Answer all the questions that you can!
  • What can you count or compare?
  • What can you add or subtract?
  • Which tower has more pieces? How many more pieces? Use tally marks or the Number Rack app to represent the quantities. What do you notice?
  • After he built both towers, how many pieces were left in the basket?
  • Show your work to someone and explain your thinking. Did they understand?
  • Ask whether they have any other questions you can answer!
  • Build your own tower. You could use blocks, paper cups, or anything that stacks pretty easily in your home!
  • Fine the total number of pieces in your tower. How many did you use?
  • Build your own set of towers, create problems to go with them, and share them with someone!