Meet Small Number

The main character in our animations thus far is a boy called Small Number. He is a bright, playful kid, with the ability to recognize patterns and calculate quickly.

Other characters introduced so far are Big Circle, Small Number’s best friend, Perfect Number, Small Number’s sister, and Small Number’s parents and grandparents. An important part of our stories is love. His grandparents, his parents, his sister, and his friend all love Small Number, and he loves them back. To underline the universality of mathematics, Small Number and the plots of our stories are not attached to a particular time and space. In the first story, Small Number lives in a tipi settlement somewhere in the plains. In the second story he lives by a body of water, a river or a sea, and the third story is set in an urban environment.

Small Number Counts to 100

Our intention is to create stories in such a way that they allow for interpretations at multiple levels of mathematical knowledge. For example, our first story, Small Number Counts to 100, can be shown to elementary school students as a counting practice/puzzle or as a pattern recognition problem. For high school students, it could be a way to introduce arithmetic progressions, modular addition, or an idea of number systems with a base different than 10.

For mathematics in other Small Number's stories please see bellow or click on the link Advenures of Small Number: Classroom Resources.

Small Number's Team

Veselin Jungic and Mark MacLean, Small Number's authors, are two mathematicians who are interested in promoting mathematics and who have enormous respect for Indigenous traditional knowledge. In their essence, our stories are inspired by what we have read in relevant literature, by what we heard from our Indigenous mentors, collaborators, and friends, and by what we experienced working with the Indigenous students.

We partnered with artists Simon Roy, Jean-Paul Csuka, Bethani L'Heureux, and Kyra Pukanich and directors Andy Gavel and Aidan Wright to produce the stories and movies.

We are thankful to our translators and narrators for their valuable contributions to the Small Number project.


"I am currently taking a math additional qualifications course series, upgrading my teacher's qualifications so I am a math specialist. One of our assignments this week is to link math to Aboriginal children's literature. The first two students to post their findings used the Small Number books!  They complimented the rich problem solving activity posed at the end of each. I now have to find other resources for my presentation, but that's okay. I am glad my school colleagues found Small Number!" (Melanie)

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