One Grain of Rice: Demi

One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale

Author/Illustrator: Demi
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Year: 1997
Brief Summary: Clever village girl Rana use her mathematical knowledge to gain a handsome reward from the selfish raja.

Awards, Honors and Prizes:

 Ideas for using this book in classroom or library:
  • Social studies: Where is India on the world map?  Discuss cultural aspects of India.
  • What is a famine?  Discuss famine/hunger as a global issue.  How did the raja prepare for an impending famine?  Did he keep to his plan?  Why or why not?
  • Organize a food drive and donate to local food banks.
  • Math: How could she get from 1 to 1 billion in 30 days?   Discuss the doubling effect in math.  Show chart at the end of the book, or copy a template of the chart with some numbers whited out…have students work with a calculator to fill in the chart.  What is the mathematical equation for this?

Brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core/etc.

  • Social studies: India; social issues such as famines
  • Math

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc. More lesson ideas can be found at

Accessed at:  Thrasher Elementary Library


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