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Can You Count to a Googol?
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Can You Count to a Googol? (Wells of Knowledge Science)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  62 ratings  ·  21 reviews
You may be able to count to all the way to 100, but have you ever counted to a googol? It's impossible! In this fun book of numbers, Robert E. Wells explores the wonderful world of zeros and tells how the googol came to be named.While you learn about place values and the names of big numbers, try to imagine what those numbers can do. How long would it take to toast 100,000 ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 1st 2000 by Turtleback Books (first published January 1st 2000)
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I will always remember this book for being at the center of my first independent math lesson. For fifth-grade, my topic was multiplying with powers of ten using exponents, and Can You Count to a Googol? really helped introduce all of that math content.

What I could not have anticipated while writing the lesson plan was that the students I received this morning were completely unfamiliar with powers of ten (and I later learned that they were the lowest level group), but between all the strategies
Nov 17, 2008 Barbara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: home educators and other teachers.
Beginning with 1 "the number of bananas you can balance on
your nose, if you're a good banana balancer," the author keeps adding and illustrating the effect of adding zeros with his zany illustrations until he passes the googol, a real number named by the nine-year-old nephew of the first mathematician to write it down (as far as we know) in the 1930's
-- a Dr. Edward Kasner. One of the most important points the author of this book makes is that although a googol exists, it is much bigger than an
May 16, 2013 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is an entertaining book that teaches children about large numbers. We just read On Beyond a Million: An Amazing Math Journey, so it was good to compare the different ways in which the numbers are described.

This book does not go into exponents as much, but it does explain the system by which the largest numbers were named. It also answers questions about what is considered a 'real' number (such as quadrillion versus gazillion).

The narrative is informative and engaging and the illustrations
Chelsea Ulrich
This book is helpful in allowing students to see what multiples of tens look like. Many students have a hard time understanding how multiplying by ten changes the number but the visual representations in this book would be helpful to ground students in their thinking. I could see using this with higher grades as this is something that they should have knowledge of and I can also see how using this as an introduction to multiplying by ten could be helpful for student understanding.
Liked this book about number sense just as much as Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is?. It explains big numbers in the best way I can think of to get a feel for them. I nice touch at the end was the last page spread that explained how to come up with the representations used in the book, for instance how do we figure out "how big a stack 1,000,000 dollar bills would make", or that "100 eagles could really take you for a ride" ...
Sylvia Ulmer
CCSS.Math.Content.5.NBT.A.2 Explain patterns in the number of zeros of the product when multiplying a number by powers of 10...Use whole-number exponents to denote powers of 10.

Our class read this as a review of place value and as a segue for introducing exponents/powers of ten. The kids definitely came away with an idea of exponential growth. The illustrations were very appropriate in helping them see what happens when you multiply by ten. It specifically pointed out that each time you add a ze
Kayo C
This book reminded me of my first graders when the class first learned about estimation. After the first few children took guesses it became a "contest" of sorts for who could should the biggest and most ridiculous number they had ever heard. They seemed more interest in being able to say a large number than say a close guess. This book would be great to discuss estimation and how we know some numbers and just way too big, it would also be useful for teaching place value and how the addition of ...more
This series is an absolute favorite in our home. Robert Wells makes topics so understandable for kids and presents them in a fun way.
An entertaining and educational book about very large numbers that make most people's brains hurt. How much is a googol? 10 to the 100th power! The illustrations were cute and helped to show just how many a billion and a trillion are, and what those numbers are most often used to represent.
My kids (9 and 5) are fascinated by the numbers in this book and the whole idea of googol, they want me to read this book over and over.
DD took it to school to share because she just wants everyone else to know about googol.

I think it will make a great teacher resource.
I really enjoyed this book. It helped me learn how to count to a googol...seriously. It gives a great break of each different place value and brings in real -life objects that can be counted using low to very extreme numbers. Awesome for reading before a place value lesson.
If you are not very good with numbers this may be a difficult book to read. However, this is excellent for grouping by tens, and giving interesting facts about each of the numbers presented in the book. It is also helpful for teaching place values.
Interesting look at hard to imagine large numbers. Good illustrations demonstrate multiples of ten, but I lowered the rating 1 star because the illustrations are a bit off and the book doesn't mention the concept of infinity.
A good choice for read alouds that teaches students about counting- starting at 1 and ..."there just no use trying to count to a googol. It's just too big! Bigger than the number of atoms in the whole universe!"
I really like the way this book starts with a small number and then adds exponents. It is a great way to see how big the numbers grow so fast. The googol really boggles the mind.
Charity Ambs
I really like this book because it presents a mathematical concept in a very interesting way. Would recommend.
Sharonta Johnson
This funny book is a creative way to explain how the number line never ends. By counting all the way to googol.
Kids liked it. Cute number book.
I learned that googols are a number!
Wonderful book used in math lesson.
Adam marked it as to-read
May 15, 2015
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About Robert Wells
Robert E. Wells is the author and illustrator of many intriguing and award-winning science books for children. He lives with his wife in Wenatchee, Washington.

Welcome Robert E. Wells’s books into your classroom, and you’ll find most of
your science curriculum covered. The twelve volumes – engaging and informative,
educational and inviting – provide second through fifth graders with
More about Robert E. Wells...

Other Books in the Series

Wells of Knowledge Science (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • What's So Special about Planet Earth? (Wells of Knowledge Science)
  • Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is?
  • What's Smaller Than a Pygmy Shrew?
  • How Do You Lift a Lion?
  • Why Do Elephants Need the Sun?
  • Did a Dinosaur Drink This Water? (Wells of Knowledge Science)
  • What's Faster Than a Speeding Cheetah?
  • How Do You Know What Time It Is? (Albert Whitman Prairie Books)
  • Polar Bear, Why Is Your World Melting?
  • What's Older Than a Giant Tortoise?
Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is? What's Smaller Than a Pygmy Shrew? How Do You Lift a Lion? What's So Special about Planet Earth? (Wells of Knowledge Science) Why Do Elephants Need the Sun?

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