Friday, November 13, 2009

Animal Skeletons & What Does a Million Look Like?

I just found a great book called Skeletons: An Inside Look at Animals. It's fantastic!!!! My students especially love the box on each page showing a drawing of the animal with a human drawing placed alongside for scale. This is the best book I've ever seen on animal skeletons. Unfortunately, I can't find any pictures of it online so you're just going to have to take my word for it. :-)

I gave a lesson on the Wooden Hierarchical Material today (a unit cube and then -- to scale -- a ten bar, a hundred square, a thousand cube, a ten thousand bar, a hundred thousand square, and a million cube). We used the million cube to look back at how long ago the dinosaurs lived (if this tiny cube is one year and this gigantic cube is one million years, the dinosaurs lived...), how long ago the trilobites lived, and how long ago the Earth was formed. It was an amazing discussion. The Wooden Hierarchical material is pricey and it wouldn't be a good investment for a homeschooler but it is an amazing thing to SEE a million.

Another -- less expensive -- way to SEE a million is A Million Dotsby Andrew Clements. I highly recommend this book for any classroom.

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