• Caroline Farkas

5 Math Picture Books about Place Value

Updated: Apr 13



Do you need a great read-aloud to teach your upper elementary students place value? These math picture books are wonderful because they offer a great story and can also help facilitate math discussions with your upper elementary class! Place value books are also so important to help students relate large numbers to their life and be able to visualize them! Here are my top five math books to teach place value for 3rd, 4th, and 5th-grade students. Click on the links below to see the books on Amazon (affiliate links).


1. How Much Is A Million?

Written by David M Schwartz and Illustrated by Steven Kellogg

Do your students need help visualizing how much a million is? This book is perfect for that! I always use this book to introduce larger numbers and millions. It gives students concrete examples of how big a million is.


Great For: Introduction to large numbers, specifically millions and billions.


Questions to Ask Your Students: What were you most surprised about with larger numbers? How do you think the author figured out those facts? Why do we need the numbers in the millions and billions? Where do you see large numbers in your life?






2. A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars

Written By Seth Fishman Illustrated by Isabel Greenberg


This book talks about a whole lot of large numbers that are on our planet! I love this book because it is a great introduction to large numbers, and also gives them some real-life connections. For example, the book literally tells students how many trillion trees are on our earth! Another bonus for this book is that it shows these large numbers sometimes in word form and also in number form.


Great For: Introduction to large numbers, relating large numbers to real-life


Questions to Ask Your Students: What are some large numbers that you wonder about? What large numbers surprised you in this book? How could we go about finding out how much of something there is? Why are there large numbers?



3. A Place For Zero

Written by Angeline Sparanga LoPresti and Illustrated by Phyllis Hornung


This book is about the number zero who is trying to figure out where he fits in his number kingdom! This book has some great math puns in it, and is a wonderful introduction to the number zero.


Great For: Introducing Zero as a place holder, 10 Digits, Basic place value.


Questions to Ask Your Students: How do we use zero in place value? Why is it important to have the number zero? What would happen if we did not have a number zero in our number system?




4. Place Value

Written By: David A Adler Illustrated By: Edward Miller


This book is great for introducing place value. I love this book because it shows numbers in a place value chart, which can be directly linked to your lessons! It also goes over very specific math terms and concepts like why we use a comma when writing a large number.


Great For: Parts of Place Value, Introduction to Place Value Charts


Questions to Ask Your Students: Why do we use a comma? Why do we use a decimal point? What does a place value chart show?




5. Millions, Billions, & Trillions

Written by: David Adler Illustrated by: Edward Miller



This book is another great choice to give students a visual of large numbers like millions and billions. My students really like this book because it relates large numbers to things like ice cream sundaes and strands of hair.


Great For: Introduction to large numbers, relating large numbers to real-life


Questions to Ask Your Students: What are some large numbers that you wonder about? What large number surprised you in this book? How could we go about finding out how much of something there is? Why are there large numbers?



BONUS!

Need an activity to keep students engaged? Check out my math coloring books! They are great for students to work on in between activities or when they first come into the classroom! Need something for that dreaded indoor recess the first week? That would work great for that also!



5 Awesome Picture Books to Teach Place Value

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