Reading Together

Storybook Guide Based on Annie Watson’s “Is 2 a Lot?”

Explore math while reading and talking about this storybook.

Topic:

Activity Summary

Use this storybook guide with the book “Is 2 a Lot?” Many public libraries have this book. This book is a Mathical Award winner.

Reading guide

About the Story

Riding in a car, Joey asks, “Is 2 a lot?” Mom says, “Two is not a lot of pennies, but two is a lot of smelly skunks!” To avoid the skunks, Mom turns onto a magical road where she and Joey encounter 5 freckles and 5 cowboys, 10 dinosaurs and 10 pieces of popcorn, and much more. Are these numbers a lot or not? At the end, Joey gives a deep answer to the question. The illustrations are hilarious.

A mother driving a car swerves when she sees two skunks in the road. Illustration from "Is 2 a Lot?"

Words to Learn

MATH WORDS
two, three, four, five, ten, fifty, one hundred, one thousand, a lot

OTHER WORDS
shelf, broken bones, freckles, chomping, aspen tree, stump, hot air balloons

About the Math

While reading the story, your child can learn:

  • Numbers tell us exactly how many there are in
    a collection.
  • But the meaning of the numbers depends on context. For example, 10 pieces of popcorn are not a lot compared with a whole bag of popcorn,
    but 10 dinosaurs are a lot compared with the amount we see every day (none!).
  • To read written numerals (1,000) and number
    words (one thousand).
Two dog walkers get tangled up in their dog’s leashes while on a walk. Illustration from "Is 2 a Lot?"

Talk During Reading

  • DESCRIBE WHAT’S ON THE PAGE
    What’s happening on this page? How many pennies do you see? Do you see two of anything else besides the skunks?
  • COMPARE THE NUMBERS OF TWO GROUPS
    Are there more children in the school bus or more dogs on the street Are there more dinosaurs or more pieces of popcorn?
  • JUSTIFY A JUDGMENT
    Why are four children on the school bus not a lot of children, but four dogs to walk at once are a lot of dogs?
  • IMAGINE A LOT AND NOT A LOT
    Can you think of something (besides pennies and skunks) for which two things are a lot and two other things are not a lot?

Try to come up with some of your own questions and comments, too!

Activity After Reading

  • DRAWING
    Let’s make some drawings of five things that are not a lot and five other things that are a lot.