Thursday, April 7, 2011

How Big is a Million? by Anna Millbourne

Title: How Big is a Million?
Author: Anna Millbourne
Illustrator: Serena Riglietti
Copyright: 2007, Scholastic Inc., New York.
Grade: K - 2
Theme: Counting, Million

This story is about a penguin who wonders how big a million is. He goes through a journey and tries to discover how big a million actually is. In the end, his mother points him to the sky and tells him there's his million, and that he can make a wish on every single one.

I liked this book a lot. It is primarily for younger children, but anyone can read it and enjoy it. It's can also be used during a math lesson, because it focuses on numbers. First the penguin comes across ten fish, then a hundred penguins, then a thousand snowflakes and then a million stars. Teachers can use this book when teaching math.

Pre-Reading Activity:
Have a jar full or m-n-m's and have the children try and make an estimate of how many there are in the jar. Ask them how they came up with that number.

Post-Reading Activity:
Count the m-n-m's together, and split them between the students. Have them place their m-n-m's in groups according to color, and have them make a bar graph showing you how many of each m-n-m they had. (Everyone will probably have different bar graphs, because they'll have a diff. number of m-n-m's).


  1. When I read the title of this book it made me thing about how big a million really is. This would be a fun book to use around the 100th day of school. Since a lot of schools make this a big day, students could read this book and come in with 100 of something. After they do this, there would be a discussion about how big 100 is and how much more a million is.

  2. I think that children have a really hard time understanding just how much a million is because it is not tangible. We can show them ten straws during morning meeting, or one hundred stars to represent the 100 days od school but it would be difficult to represent one million for them. I think it is a cute story and addresses an issue that wouldn't come to mind for me right away. Thanks for sharing a very interesting book!