Unveiling the True Value of a Million
The represents the resource for the following activity based on the picture book How Much is a Million?. Upon completion, students should be able to express place value amounts in multiplicative terms (for instance 10 thousand is 100 x 100) and also add and subtract whole number amounts to 1,000,000.
Understanding the decimal place value system is crucial; each place increases (to the left) or decreases (to the right) by a factor of 10. Once students grasp the magnitude of 1000, they can comprehend a million as 1000 thousands. To facilitate this activity, instructors will need the Million Dollar Spend Up and the picture book: How Much is a Million? which is written by David M. Schwartz and illustrated by Steven Kellogg. Published in 1985 by Harper Collins, it has an ISBN of 0-688-09933-5.
In the picture book, the Mathematical Magician presents three numbers: one million, one billion, and one trillion as different scenarios to aid students' understanding of these vast amounts. Before reading, instructors can evaluate students' understanding of large whole numbers and pose questions such as "How heavy is a million grams?" or "How long would it take to count to a billion?" Then, as they proceed with the story, instructors can draw attention to the models presented for comparison and prompt students with questions, such as, "Before we read about trillions, what was it like to count to a million?"
In addition, instructors can provide examples of pictures or models of these numbers in dollars or grains of rice. After reading the book, each student can receive a million-dollar note (from the numeracy place value money) and be asked to "spend" it. Instructors can set certain criteria, such as a given percentage of donations to charities, a basic theme for the student's spend-up (such as setting up a horse farm or an orchestra), expectations for presentation (such as a poster with images of all purchased items or a PowerPoint presentation), and calculations for their math.
Following this activity, instructors can lead students in an exploration of what a billion dollars means. To further aid in teaching, instructors can refer to the MM-place-value-houses.pdf96.18 KB.
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