Illuminations: One Grain of Rice

# One Grain of Rice

 In this lesson, students take on the role of a villager in a third-world country trying to feed her village. While listening to you read aloud the book One Grain of Rice by Demi, students work collaboratively to come up with a bargaining plan to trick the raja into feeding the village using algebra, exponential growth, and estimation.

### Learning Objectives

 By the end of this lesson, students will: Create a general algebraic formula using variables. Understand how to express mathematical thinking in a concise written or verbal manner. Use estimation skills to make predictions.

### Materials

 One Grain of Rice by Demi — available from amazon.com and elswhere One Grain of Rice Activity Sheet Student Journals Calculators

### Assessment Options

 While students are involved in small-group work, circulate among the groups, listening to their conversations and judging participation and accuracy among the members. Give students a minimal amount of help on their algebraic equation. Allow them to struggle and generate an equation on their own. Assess the students on their participation in class, their completed activity sheet, and their journal entries. Ask students to write an entry in their journal explaining why Rani's plan was so effective. Emphasize that they should use a mathematical explanation to justify their response. Additionally, ask them to create a plan that would be as effective as Rani's.

### Extensions

 Challenge students to calculate the volume of their classroom. Ask them to determine the volume of the total number of grains of rice that Rani receives, and then figure out how many classrooms would be required to store all of Rani's rice. Have students weigh rice and figure out how many animals it would take to carry all of Rani’s rice, much like the book did. Have students estimate the number of grains in a box of rice purchased at a store. Then, based on the cost of the box, have them figure out how much one grain of rice would cost (and how much it would cost to feed Rani’s entire village).

### Teacher Reflection

 Was your lesson developmentally appropriate? If not, what was inappropriate? What would you do to change it? How did students demonstrate understanding of the material presented? Were concepts presented too abstractly? Too concretely? How would you change them? What were some of the ways that students demonstrated that they were actively engaged in the learning process? Did you find it necessary to make adjustments while teaching the lesson? If so, what adjustments, and were they effective?

### NCTM Standards and Expectations

 Algebra 6-8Represent, analyze, and generalize a variety of patterns with tables, graphs, words, and, when possible, symbolic rules. Model and solve contextualized problems using various representations, such as graphs, tables, and equations.

### References

 Demi. 1997. One Grain of Rice. New York: Scholastic Press.
 This lesson prepared by Christy Simon.

1 period

### NCTM Resources

 More and Better Mathematics for All Students
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