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One Grain of Rice Math and Rainbow Rice

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Have you read the book, One Grain Of Rice, by Demi?  It is a story of a rajah in India who takes almost all of the people’s rice and stores it for a time when they need it.  However, the people begin starving and he does not share what is in the store house.  A smart girl figures out a way to get back the rice by tricking him.  I don’t want to give it all away… Great book, though!

It is such a great book to teach math concepts of doubling, place values, & multiplying. It also has great moral lessons that go along with the story. Some lessons I saw used it to teach scarcity, or about the culture of India. We read it this week and I wanted to find some fun activities to go along with it.  Here are some of the resources I found:

Tarleton has a lesson plan outline with some fun ideas to use in teaching about the book.
Rice Romp has some fun ideas as well. They have a lesson teaching place values.
I liked this concept of doubling pennies @ Math forum

I created a fun printable to use along with the book.  Click here to Download NOW!

We used rice to double our amounts through the first 7 days.  That was a large enough amount for us to count!

one grain of rice printable
Then for the remaining numbers we added on paper and pulled out our place value flip book and figured out the numbers on there.  It was such a fun activity.
one grain of rice math learning activities

We also made a rainbow rice box this week.  I have seen this tutorial circling the web.  I am so glad we tried it.  My kids LOVE it.  I was surprised how much time they spent playing in it.  It goes along perfectly with this book.  I wonder how many grains of rice are in our box…..

How to Make Rainbow Rice:

Rice- I used a 5 lb bag and divided it into 6 colors- about 2 1/2 c. for each color of rice.
Food Coloring
Rubbing Alcohol

Mix a few drops of food coloring into 2-3 Tbsp of rubbing alcohol.  Put the rice into bowls and pour color mixture into the rice.  Mix until evenly coated with color. Pour rice onto cookie sheets to dry.  It was a cold & cloudy day, so we didn’t have any sunlight to speed up the process.  It took ours a few hours to dry.  (It is really stinky until the alcohol smell wears off!  Beware!)

Once it dries out,  pour into a plastic tub with some toys.  It will provide endless hours of entertainment!

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  1. What grade level would you suggest this activity for? I would need to find a standard to go along with it and I’m kind of unsure which grade level to use.


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