Sunday, September 08, 2013

Math Must Read Mentor Text Linky - One Grain of Rice

One of my favorite math books to begin the year is Demi's One Grain of Rice.

This is a beautifully illustrated version of the Indian Folktale about the clever Rani getting the best of the selfish Raja who has been hoarding the village's rice supply.

Here's Amazon's review:
Exotic, beautiful, and instructive, this "mathematical folktale" by author-illustrator Demi emerged from her love of India. The narrative and the evocative illustrations combine to create a real sense of the culture and atmosphere of this romantic land.

It's the story of Rani, a clever girl who outsmarts a very selfish raja and saves her village. When offered a reward for a good deed, she asks only for one grain of rice, doubled each day for 30 days. Remember your math? That's lots of rice: enough to feed a village for a good long time--and to teach a greedy raja a lesson.

The best part that the kids really love is about 3/4 of the way through the book, as Rani has requested that the Raja double her gift of rice grains every day for a month, she receives a parade of elephants to bring her gift. There are so many elephants to display, that Demi had to create a cool visual with pages that fold out into four page spread. The kids go nuts with , "Whoa!!" and "Wow!"

It's a great way to show how quickly numbers can grow and to discuss how to read larger seven digit numbers. Great book! 

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