Thursday, February 19, 2015

Math Picture Books to Love: How Much is a Million?

How Much is a Million? by David Schwartz

  • Target Skill(s): Relative Size of Numbers One Million and Beyod
  • Book Synopsis: This book was written some years ago but is a great way to emphasize the size of large numbers. The author does a solid job of relating the size of a million, a billion, and a trillion in a language that young students understand. For example, the author says, "If you wanted to count from one to one million, it would take about 23 days." He uses the same comparisons for a million, a billion, and a trillion. 
  • Math Involved: This book emphasizes the size of large numbers using pictures and descriptions.
  • Questions to Ponder: 
    • How do you think the author was able to create these statements? Did someone really count to one million? Is there a fish bowl large enough for one million goldfish?
    • Which description helped you understand the size of a million, a billion, or a trillion the most? Why?
  • Activity Ideas: 
    • NCTM Illuminations Activity- How Much is a Million?
    • Have students brainstorm where they might find a million of something. For example, there are a million fish in the sea or a million blades of grass on the lawn. 
    • Have students convert some of the measurements in the book to a different unit. For example, 23 days is 552 hours. 
  • Book Link on Amazon: