I copy a bunch of paper flats, sticks, and squares and tell the children that they can use them to make a beautiful picture. Here's my (thrown together really quick) example:
The kids, of course are much more creative than I am. I've seen them make the most beautiful pictures - rocket ships, boats, robots, etc. And, of course, theirs are glued onto paper, colored, and beautiful backgrounds are added. We talk about an art gallery and how people can purchase beautiful works of art. We then talk about the value of their paintings. Of course, there's always one that says their art is worth a million dollars. I tell them that we are going to add up the flats, sticks, and squares they used to make their picture in order to find the value of it. For example, in my picture, I used 2 flats, 4 sticks, and 20 squares. If I added these up, my picture would be worth $260. This is a good opportunity to introduce the concept of regrouping. That is a second grade skill in our district, but being introduced to it doesn't hurt.
I then give the kids some blank scrapbook tags and they get to write the "cost" of their art on the tag. We use black construction paper to make frames for each work of art and then hang them in the hall with the price tags (just in case anyone wants to purchase one, lol)!
The kids really enjoy this activity and it gives them the chance to practice counting, place value, and number sense skills.
I found these printable base 10 blocks here if you need them! If you do some place value art, let me know! I'd love to see the works of art your children create! I'll post pictures of ours when we finish.
On another note, does anyone know how I can share a VERY large file? I have SMARTboard files for each of our Treasures stories, but they are soo big (over 60MB). I need to email it to someone, but it's too big. Help!