Title of Book: A Place for Zero Author:


Title of Book:




A Place for Zero

Angeline Sparagna LoPresti



ISBN-13: 978-1-57091-602-1

Grade Levels for Recommended Use: 4 th

and 5 th


(5.1) Number, operation, and quantitative reasoning. The student uses place value to represent whole numbers and decimals. The student is expected to:

(A) use place value to read, write, compare, and order whole numbers through the 999,999,999,999; and

(B) use place value to read, write, compare, and order decimals through the thousandths place.

Brief Summary: Zero is all alone in the land of Digitaria. He can't play Addemup with the other numbers because he has nothing to add. Join Zero as he goes on a journey to discover his place. His quest takes him from the mysterious workshop of Count

Infinity to the palace of King Multiplus and Queen Addeleine. It is here where Zero meets a stranger who looks surprisingly familiar. Zero finds his place at last!

Materials Needed:

Number generators for each group; we will use spinners with numbers 0-9.

Set of place value cards for each student, these are found at end of lesson

Bowls or cups for each set of place cards. Bowls are used to draw place cards from.

Place value boards for each student or team:

For a previous activity you can have students make their own boards: http://www.ehow.com/how_5863873_make-place-value-charts-students.html

Paper for teams to record their numbers, found at end of lesson

Writing utensils

Suggested Activity:

Teacher reads aloud A Place for Zero , using overhead so all the students can see the illustrations.

Show video on the discovery of zero:


Afterwards, discuss the different attributes of zero with students:

Zero holds a place value as long as it is not at the end or the beginning of a number, regardless if it is in a decimal or whole number place.

Ex. 1,000.001 here all the zeros hold a place value

0001.1110 here the zeros don’t need to appear to affect the value of the #

Next play a game to reinforce their place value skills:

Each team will try to form either the highest or lowest number. Each number contains digits from the thousandths to the thousands place. (You can use more places if you want, such as up to the millions place.)

Divide students into teams of 2. Put two to four teams together in a group. We will use 7 groups of 4 (with 2 people on a team). This game can also be played every man for himself.

Before beginning, let each group decide if the winner will be the team who makes the highest number or the lowest number.

Each team takes turns spinning the number generator and drawing a place value card out of their cup simultaneously. One member draws while one member spins.

Do not put the place value cards back in the cup once drawn from the cup.

Using the place value board, the team records the corresponding number in the correct place on the place value board.

Whichever team creates the highest (or lowest if decided) number out of the group wins.

Teams must record each of their numbers on the paper correctly, making sure each number has 7 sets of digits with the decimal in the correct place.

After playing a few rounds, have all the teams add up their numbers they created and see which team had the highest and lowest number over all.

If students would like to practice place value skills on their own, at home or in the computer lab, a great quiz is found here: http://www.ixl.com/math/practice/grade-5-place-values

Adapted by Lindsay Moore, 2010

Ideas incorporated from: http://www.mathcats.com/grownupcats/ideabankplacevalue.html

Sources from websites: http://www.ehow.com/math-education/ http://science.howstuffworks.com/ http://www.ixl.com/math/grade/fifth/

thousandths hundredths tenths ones tens

hundreds thousands ten thousands hundred thousands millions

Place Value Cards

adapted by Lindsay Moore, 2010

Team Name: __________________________________________

Our generated number is:

____ , _____ _____ _____ . _____ _____ _____

We write it like this:


Our generated number is:

____ , _____ _____ _____ . _____ _____ _____

We write it like this:


Our generated number is:

____ , _____ _____ _____ . _____ _____ _____

We write it like this:


The total found when we add our numbers together:

____ , _____ _____ _____ . _____ _____ _____ adapted by Lindsay Moore, 2010