Sometimes We Need Large Numbers to Describe Small Things

String the class along to help them understand large numbers. A multi-disciplinary activity uses literature, science, and math to look at very large numbers. Pupils conceptualize how much a million is using literature before performing a hands-on activity with beads to further visualize the number. They end the activity by making a connection to atoms and the size of a nanometer.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Use a set of index cards and lay end to end to show how long of a string the different number of beads would be
Classroom Considerations
  • Uses the book How Much is a Million by David M. Schwartz
  • Requires containers of 10, 100, and 1,000 beads
  • Provides detailed instructions to create the learning center container
  • Includes an answer key
  • None