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This unit study includes lessons and printables based on the book One Grain of Rice by Demi.

Long ago in India, there lived a raja who believed that he was wise and fair. But every year he kept nearly all of the people’s rice for himself. Then when famine came, the raja refused to share the rice, and the people went hungry. Then a village girl named Rani devises a clever plan. She does a good deed for the raja, and in return the raja lets her choose her reward. Rani asks for just one grain of rice, doubled every day for thirty days. Through the surprising power of doubling, one grain of rice grows into more than one billion grains of rice – and Rani teaches the raja a lesson about what it truly means to be wise and fair.

Thanks to Wende for creating the One Grain of Rice unit study and lapbook.

One Grain of Rice Unit Study Lessons

Here are some sample lessons from the One Grain of Rice Unit Study.

Social Studies: Rulers
There have been many rulers throughout history, both good and bad. They have gone by many titles including king, emperor, czar, pharaoh, sultan, sheik, and in the case of our story, raja.

In India, a raja is a Hindu priest or chief of a tribal state. The raja had the responsibility of enforcing religious law, protecting the borders, and overseeing the general well being of the people. The success of a raja in India was often determined by how he handled famines, which were frequent occurrences. How successful was the raja in our story? What makes for a good leader?

A good leader should have excellent character, being one that doesn’t say “Do as I say, not as I do,” but rather walks the talk. This will gain him respect, and will make people willing to follow him. A good leader is one that looks out for his people’s interests enthusiastically, jumping in to help wherever he can.

People are more likely to follow a leader that is confident, organized, wise, and most importantly, just.

Did the raja in the story fit the description of a good leader? Why or why not?

Science: Rice
Rice is the edible seed of an annual cereal grass. It very well may be one of the oldest foods on the dinner table, with archeologists tracing it back to 5000 BC. It is rich in carbohydrates and has been a staple around the world.

The plant needs lots of rainfall shortly after it is planted, followed by hot, sunny weather. India, where during the summer monsoon rainy season both high temperature and heavy rainfall provide ideal conditions for the cultivation of rice, is the producer of 20% of the world’s supply. The Indians first plow their fields using beasts of burden, fertilize it with animal manure, and then smooth it out.

The rice seeds are scattered by hand, and then soil is kept wet with irrigation and low mud walls to retain the water. The harvested rice is brown in color, and when polished, becomes white rice. Encourage your child to sprout and grow some rice of his own.

In a bucket, place 2” layer of stone and then a 2” layer of dirt (rice is not particularly picky about the soil, so any dirt should do). Saturate the stones and dirt. Scatter some brown rice on top of the wet dirt (white rice will not germinate). Keeping the bucket in a warm place, periodically sprits the rice with water, making sure that it never dries out. As the seeds germinate, lightly sprinkle more dirt on top of seeds, continuing to keep rice and dirt wet. After it starts to look like grass, put the bucket in a sunny, warm spot. Watch it grow!

You can grab a copy of the entire One Grain of Rice Unit Study and Lapbook in an easy-to-print file at the end of this post.

One Grain of Rice Lapbook Printables

In addition to the variety of lessons, the file also includes these printables for your student to create a One Grain of Rice Lapbook:

  • What Is a Famine? Matchbook
  • Generosity Copywork Mini-book
  • Indian Culture Tri-fold Book
  • Map of India Shutterfold Book
  • Flag of India Simple Fold Book
  • Rulers Tab Book
  • All About Rice Layer Book
  • Rice Recipe Cards and Pocket
  • Fauna of India Simple Fold Book
  • One Grain of Rice Vocabulary Flap Book
  • Folktales Clipboards
  • How Much Is a Billion? Shutterflap Folded Book
  • Division Problems Accordion Book
  • Double Trouble Math Activity Mini-book
  • Complimentary Colors Fan Book

One Grain of Rice Lapbook Sample

Here is a sample lapbook for One Grain of Rice. It was made with two file folders (glued together).

One Grain of Rice Lapbook Sample First Folder (on the left)
One Grain of Rice Lapbook Sample Second Folder (on the right)

How to Get Started with Your One Grain of Rice Unit Study & Lapbook

Follow these simple instructions to get started with the One Grain of Rice Unit Study:

  1. Buy a copy of the book, One Grain of Rice by Demi, or borrow one from your local library.
  2. Print the One Grain of Rice unit study.
  3. Choose the lessons you want to use with your student (a highlighter works great for this).
  4. Choose and prepare the lapbook printables you want to use with your student.
  5. Enjoy a week of learning with One Grain of Rice.

Get Your Free One Grain of Rice Unit Study & Lapbook

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