I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean!
By: Kevin Sherry
This book goes along the journey of a squid as he swims through the ocean. He is passing other animals that he is bigger than, thinking he is the biggest animal in the ocean. Until he meets a whale, who puts his size to shame by eating the squid.
This book is geared towards Kindergarten students. It has very easy to understand language, has a pattern, and repeats words, making it easy for them to follow along. This book also targets measurement. Measuring the size of the squid in comparison to the other animals that he is encountering along his way. Measurements and size comparisons can be a hard concept to grasp for young children, unable to picture the sizes of the objects that they are trying to compare. By being able to visualize the size of these animals in a picture book, this will encourage students to compare and contrast the size of different animals and grasp the concept of size and measurements; enriching their math skills.
Quote #1 - "I'm bigger than this fish" This quote can be used continually throughout the book, as it is repeated with all of the animals that the squid encounters. This quote draws attention to the size of each animal, comparing their sizes and drawing the conclusion as to which animal is actually larger. Question #1 - "What process did you use when deciding which animal was the biggest?" Students might respond with answers such as, "I compared the sizes of each using a ruler" which would be an activity that the teacher could implement with this picture book. Having students use rulers or square blocks to count how big each animal actually is on the page, deciding which one is bigger. Question #2 - "How big are you in comparison to the fish and the squid?" The teacher could provide the measurements of lifelike squids and fish are, and then have students measure themselves, comparing each and deciding which is the biggest. Students will probably answer saying that they are "bigger than the fish, but smaller than the squid".
Quote #2 - "I'm a giant squid, and I'm big!" This quote is meaningful because it is stating that the squid is actually big. This will make it easier for the students to compare and contrast the animals because it states the size openly. This can lead to open discussion and good conversation within the lesson. Question #1 - "How did the giant squid find out that the blue whale was bigger? How do you analyze if you are bigger than other objects?" Students could answer with a variety of answers, but the teacher should expect answers such as, "By standing next to them, or by measuring myself". Question #2 - "How many other animals can you think of that are bigger than the whale? How many animals did the squid pass before finding an animal bigger than he is?" This would be a great question to lead them to brainstorming other animals they know that are big while also using their counting skills. Teachers should experience answers such as "elephants, giraffes, etc." (even though those are not larger, the students will know that they are large animals).
Sherry, K. (2007). I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers,US.
Can you Count to a Googol?
By: Robert E. Wells
In this book, Robert Wells explores the world of numbers, specifically place values and zero's. He compares and contrasts small and big numbers, bringing them to life and making a unimaginable number, more imaginable for students.
This book is geared towards the upper elementary level, but specifically 5th grade. It is a great book that compares and contrasts big and small numbers while teaching about place value, but specifically the number of operations. This books illustrations help students to visualize what big numbers look like and how they compare to smaller numbers. This book has a lot of solid math content while also integrating literacy to help students to grasp large numbers. This is a great resources that covers the basis of several standards skills such as, explaining patterns of zero's of the product when multiplying a number by powers of 10, reading and writing decimals to thousandths, and can use place value understanding to round decimals to any place value.
Quote #1 - "If you're looking for a really big number, it certainly won't be 1. One is the number of bananas you can balance on your nose, if you're a good banana balancer." This quotes is enriching for the math content, because it is the starting point for all numbers. It is giving the students a great visualization of 1 and how that will look in comparison when we reach a googol. Question #1 - "How did the number 1 feel at the beginning of the book? How did it feel in the middle? And the end?" The teacher can expect answers such as "at the beginning it felt like a normal number that we use everyday. By the middle and end of the book, that number felt insignificant on the scale of such large numbers." Question #2 - "Would you rather be given a penny every day for a month, doubling the penny each day? For example: Monday, 1 cent. Tuesday, 2 cents. Wednesday, 4 cents. Thursday, 8 cents. . . Etc. or $100 for the month" Students will have a variety of answers based upon their preference or which scenario they expect to gain more money. This will test their place value skills and a higher order math problem.
Quote #2 - "One million is 10 times bigger. it looks like this, 1,000,000. Sometimes great distances are easier to measure in millions, such as, the distance between the earth and the sun that's about 93 million miles." This is a great launching point for a number that is very large, but not so large that the students have not ever heard of it, or will never hear it in a real life conversation. Question #1 - "What would you do with a million dollars?" The teacher should except an array of answers here. But this is a good question because it is a real life situation while still being able to realize the extent of the money that they are given. Question #2 - "If you could have a million of anything, what would you choose? What would you not like a million of?" The answers will vary with this question as well. But this is a fun way for students to be creative with what they would like, but also a practical way to discovery what they would not like a million of, understanding the largeness of that number.
Wells, R. E. (2000). Can you count to a googol? United States: Albert Whitman & Company.