Penguin Math and How Big is A Million?

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How Big is A Million by Anna Milbourne is an adorable story that will give young students an infectious love for numbers and counting.   It is also a helpful book for introducing the concept of place value.

Pipkin is an adorable little penguin who is as curious as he is cute. Full of questions, he sets off to answer the biggest question of all.....

How big is a million?

Your students will love following along with Pipkin on his journey! With endearing characters and illustrations, Milbourne helps students see what 10, 100, and 1,000 looks like. Eventually Pipkin even gets to see what one million looks like when he realizes that the number can be found in the stars! Milbourne even includes a fold out poster illustrating a million stars!

This book would be extra fun paired with a penguin activity.  We scoured the web and found a few that we think would be a terrific addition to your unit on penguins:

1. Penguin Counting Mats:


Download this adorable Penguin PDF, write the number on the tummy of the Penguins, laminate for long time use and ask students to use Goldfish Crackers to count out the number. You could also have your students roll dice and then place the corresponding number of goldfish on the counting mat. 

2. Penguin Bean Counters:


These Penguin Bean Counters may be the cutest little math manipulative that I have EVER seen. They are so stinkin' cute. Made with uncooked white beans, permanent markers and a very steady set of hands, there are SO many great activities you could do with these penguins! You can find the directions to make these here. Though the text is not in English, there are pictures of each step and they are pretty self-explanatory.  

3. Penguin Measuring


Mrs. Lee's Kinderkids made these adorable penguins that they then measured using cubes. They recorded their measurements, as well as the patterns used on the sheet. These would make an adorable bulletin board for your hallway for the winter months! You can read the directions to this fun project here

4. Penguin Clocks:


These clocks from Travel, Teach and Love are a perfect idea for teaching about time. You can find her instructions and printable clock here

These are just a few fun ideas that you could incorporate into your math class with this book. 

You can get the How Big is a Million winter-inspired counting book here

Do you do Penguin Math in your classroom? We would love to hear your ideas!