The King’s Chessboard

The King's Chessboard

Bibliographic Information: Birch, David. (1988). The King’s Chessboard. New York: Puffin Books.

Brief Annotation: The King of Deccan in India wants to reward the wise man for his service to the King. So, the King agrees to give the wise man one grain of rice for the first square of a chessboard, two grains of rice for the second square the next day, four grains of rice for the third square on the third day, and so on, doubling the number of grains each time until the chessboard is full.

Genre: Fantasy

Grade Level: 4-6

Readers who will like this: Children interested in eastern cultures, such as the Indian culture; children who like stories of kings and wise men; children who like counting.

Rating/Response: 4 This book has beautiful illustrations and a clever story to tell. It is fun to think about how many grains of rice the wise man will receive by the end of the 64 days and if the King will realize that it is A LOT.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: Have you ever had a math problem that you weren’t sure how to solve? How did it make you feel?

Reading Strategy: Mathematics

Rationale for Strategy: This book is great for working on multiplication and number sense. Students can guess how many grains of rice they think the wise man will recieve and after the read aloud they can figure out a procedure to find the total number of grains of rice.

Posted by: Jenna Bosch

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