When written as a word or words, what is the smallest positive whole number containing the
letter 'a'?
Topics: Starter  Vocabulary
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Idea for Teacher: Another way to present this idea is to challenge pupils to write down in one minute as many words as possible that do not contain the letter A . You can easily win this competition by writing down one, two, three, four etc which is much easier to do!
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Teacher, do your students have access to computers such as tablets, iPads or Laptops? This page was really designed for projection on a whiteboard but if you really want the students to have access to it here is a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments: Transum.org/go/?Start=October7 However it would be better to assign one of the student interactive activities below. 

Here is the URL which will take them to a related activity.
Extension 1
What is the largest number that has only one syllable?
Extension 2
When written as a word or words, what is the smallest positive whole number containing all of the vowels?
Extension 3
When written as a word or words, what is the only prime number that does not contain the letter 'e'?
Extension 4
When written as a word or words, what is the largest positive whole number that does not contain the letter 'o'?
Extension 5
When written as a word or words, what is the largest positive whole number that does not contain the letter 'i'?
Extension 6
When written as a word or words, what is the smallest positive whole number that contains the letter 'b'?
Extension 7
Which number is second if all the natural numbers written as words are arranged in alphabetical order?
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If you enjoyed this type of number puzzle you might like to look at the June 2016 Transum Newsletter which featured a similar challenge as the puzzle of the month.