Friday, October 07, 2005

ONE GRAIN OF RICE by Demi - Mathematical Folktale

Another book recommendation is ONE GRAIN OF RICE by Demi. This is a book that always grabs the kids' attention. In this story set in India, there is a rice famine, the people are starving, but the raja is hoarding all the rice for himself. Then a clever village girl named Rani returns some rice that has fallen from one of the raja's baskets. He decides to reward her for her honesty. When he asks what she wants for a reward, she requests a single grain of rice, and continues "Then each day for thirty days you will give me double the rice you gave me the day before. Thus, tomorrow you will give me two grains of rice, the next day four grains of rice, and so on for thirty days." Each time I read this book with children, they want to know if the math is really true. How does one grain of rice become over a billion in only 30 days? So we do the math and see that it is indeed true. It's a great way to teach multiplication and other math concepts through authentic literature. Plus it throws in a lesson on honesty and caring for others.
One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale
One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale

1 comment:

Mary Lynne said...

This is an excellent lesson. It never fails to grab the students' attention. It's surprising - even when used with adult learners, and it's areat way to introduce - or continue - looking for patterns and building rules or formulas. Stories and puzzles such as this, along with
function tables, have long made math a favorite subject with my students. They are always excited about what the newest "puzzle" will be