Place Value Math Mystery | Math Challenge | Math Enrichment 1st & 2nd Grade


Get your students engaged in solving… The Case of the New Family Pet! This place value collaborative math challenge is a great enrichment activity for first and second grade students!


Want to try an escape room without all the stress? Use this place value math mystery, perfect for math enrichment! In this math challenge, students will practice 2 digit place value and 3 digit place value while engaged in solving a mystery!

>> Click HERE to save with the BUNDLE of 10 Math Mysteries! <<

This digital (Google Slides & Seesaw) & printable place value challenge is a hit! This is the perfect set of place value activities and practice for 1st grade & 2nd grade students!

The Case of the New Family Pet

In this mystery, students will read a letter from Tara, a girl whose family is getting a new pet. They will learn that Tara’s parents are going to the pet store to choose a new pet, but she doesn’t know what they’re going to pick! She heard them talking about which pet they might choose for the family, but she needs help! There are six possible pets that they could choose. Students will complete four place value challenges and earn clues to solve the mystery!

How Can I Use This Resource?

Whether you’re teaching in the classroom or teaching virtually, I’ve got you covered! For teachers in the classroom, everything can be easily printed and assigned to students. I’ve included black & white ink friendly options, too. For teachers teaching virtually, this resource has also been converted to Google Slides and Seesaw, so you can assign everything remotely!

How Long Does It Take To Complete This Math Mystery?

I suggest using this resource over the course of one week. This will give your students with Monday through Thursday to complete all challenges (one to two per day), and then on Friday students can sift through the clues to solve the mystery. If you have time or want to plan an extra engaging day, you could also make an entire morning and/or afternoon of the whole thing and do it all at once! *Please note that doing the entire mystery in one day will take more than you probably have allotted during your math time!

Here’s a Look Inside:

  • Teacher Directions: How to implement, set-up, and use both in the classroom or digitally
  • Letter from Tara: Students will read a letter from Tara explaining how she needs help figuring out which pet her parents are going to choose for the family
  • Challenge Checklist: Students will use this page to track their progress on all 4 place value math challenges
  • The Pets: Students will receive a list of six possible pets and pros/cons about each one. As students earn clues, they will use them solve the mystery.
  • The Clues: After completing challenges, students will earn four clues to help them solve the mystery.
  • 4 Place Value Math Challenges: There are 3 levels for each challenge so you can differentiate as needed. Take a look below at the differentiated levels:
    • Level One Place Value: focuses on teen numbers
    • Level Two Place Value: focuses on 2-digit numbers up to 100
    • Level Three Place Value: focuses on 3-digit numbers up to 1,000
  • Letter to Tara: Students will use this page once they think they’ve solved the mystery
  • Our New Pet! Are your students ready to see if they were right? Display this page to find out!
  • Challenge Answer Keys

Find more math mysteries below!

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