Thursday, December 10, 2009

Zero Is The Leaves On A Tree

When you read most counting books, the one number that is missing is zero.  One of the reasons for this is that it is difficult to visually represent zero.  Thankfully, we have Zero Is The Leaves On The Tree, written by Betsy Franco and illustrated by Shino Arihara.  Franco's metaphors ("Zero is ... the sound of snowflakes landing on your mitten") cleverly represent what zero symbolizes.  Arihara's gouache (I had to look this up. Opaque watercolors prepared with gum.) illustrations nicely complement the text and remind me of The Snowy Day with its soft colorful pictures.

One possible activity that springs to mind is to create a booklet with student representations of zero. You could also create a counting book that follows Franco's rhythm (One is the ..., Two is the ...).

Interesting tidbits:
  • Betsy Franco is the mother of actor James Franco.
  • Does anyone remember the Schoolhouse Rock song, Zero My Hero? Great song.

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