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Planned Purposeful Read-Aloud

Teacher Candidate: Jaymie Karn

Date: October 2/2014
Class: Math
Book Title: One Grain of Rice
Author: Demi
Learning Goal(s):
What will your students be able to do?


Students gain knowledge about

the effect and power of doubling
Internalize the idea of the power
of one in terms of both math as
well as social justice
See various social justice issues
as being global as well as local,
that poverty and classism arent
distant from where they live.

Pages to be read: whole book

Curriculum Expectations:

Select and use a variety of concrete, visual, and electronic

learning tools and appropriate computational strategies to
investigate mathematical ideas and to solve problems
Generate multiples and factors, using a variety of tools and
Solve multi-step problems arising from real-life contexts and
involving whole numbers and decimals, using a variety of


D2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical

analysis process (see pages 2328) to communicate feelings,
ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of art
works and art experiences.
Interpret a variety of art works and identify the feelings,
issues, themes, and social concerns that they convey

Assessment for/as/of learning:

Pre-read assessment for/as/of learning:
For: Question class about their understanding of any social justice issues, global poverty and fairness vs. unfairness, what their
feelings are towards it, how they think those things may come to be.
During read assessment for/as/of learning:
As: Check for understanding, ask what famine means to them and what they would do if they were Rani in the story, what dont
they know yet?
Post read assessment for/as/of learning:
For: What can we learn from this story? Who experiences poverty and where?

Big Idea:

Concept of othering social justice issues and how classicism and unfair wealth distribution is experienced in
Canadian society as well as in emerging countries.

Equity, Social Justice and Anti-Oppression Connections:


Socio-economic discrepancies
Wealth distribution and giving

Pre-Read Minds-On

(15 minutes)

Materials and Differentiated Instruction


The Read-Aloud



Begin by talking to the class about what equity and social justice
is and ask what concepts of fairness and unfairness they are
familiar with. Since I havent taught these students for very long
Id like to see what issues theyre familiar with so I can work with
that in future lessons.
Be sure to ask about issues that happen globally. As volunteers
offer suggestions, begin to write them on chart paper or the
SMART Board.
Ask the class what social justice issues they can think of that
affect our community locally in Canada, Ontario, and Toronto.
Introduce class to the text, ask them what they think it could be
about. Make predictions together.
Arrange class into groups of 3-4 before anything gets started.

Book One Grain of Rice by

Manila paper


Differentiated Instruction
Those who struggle with


Tell them that it is a folktale from India about a kingdom that

experienced a famine because the raja kept the rice to himself.

During Reading Action (7-10 minutes)


Stop after page 5, What is famine? What can cause famine in a

country? Poverty?
Based on our initial class discussion about various social justice
issues, elaborate on how and why poverty may happen and
relate it to the text.
Read pages 6-11, let class come up with their plan as to how
theyd approach the problem, what they would ask the raja for as
a reward. Read through to end.
Have class discussion about reaction to text, what she could
have done better and what they think about people who are in
Take time to introduce to students on SMART
Board, connect current world poverty issues and the power of
providing rice to this folktale and discuss its relevancy.

Post Reading Follow-Up Activity Consolidation


minutes depending on class focus and detail)


Show a slide on the SMART Board with many mathematical

facts pertaining to rice (price per kilo in Toronto vs Whitehorse,
how many grains in a kilo, how many grains in a serving, etc).
2) Give each group a different question to answer using the
information on the board (How many cups of rice in total were
there? How many servings of rice were there total? How much
money is the total worth by Toronto prices, by Whitehorse
prices?). Make sure they write this question at the top of their
3) Based on their question, each group must figure out what the
correct answer is and represent each component of the question
in visually on their manila paper. These will be going up around
the classroom, so emphasize the importance of their clarity and
4) Hand out worksheet so they may start to fill it in and use its
numbers towards answering their group question.
5) Walk around to support groups answering and problem-solving
process and to ensure they are on track and all contributing to
the poster.
6) Before a group begins drawing and illustrating, make sure they
check the answer with the teacher first for comprehension and
7) While Im carrying around the sheet with the right answers,
checking for group thinking and processing and assessing based
on that as opposed to correctness.
8) After taping up each groups poster, have class carousel
presentations to demonstrate and show groups thinking to the
class in groups. One person to represent each group stays in
their spot as other groups rotate through the class and ask
questions/learn about the host members group work.
9) Facilitate discussion of students work and problem-solving
process, what they liked about other groups work.
10) Talk about some of the questions, in particular the price of rice
per kilo in Toronto versus Whitehorse ($2.92/kg versus
$7.80/kg). Why the big price difference? What does that say
about the society, and is it fair?

mathematical processes can

choose their role in the group
If theres anxiety with working
within the group setting, certain
students may choose to work
alone on one of the questions
Instead of sharing the work with
the entire class, the student only
has to communicate their
thoughts/ideas/processing to me,
no carousel or gallery walk


After the Read-Aloud

Both Classes
Initially, I was concerned that doing a read-aloud during a math class wouldnt be a well received idea
but I got a lot of support to do it by my MT. The lesson plan was also well received, I was told that I had
some very good probing questions and that the activity would have positive results. I felt pretty confident
about carrying it out. He told me the dangers of doing group work in this context and that for these
students to work effectively. After doing some research about various math related books I found that
there were many versions of the Indian folkdale about the doubling of rice and I decided that One
Grains of Rice was paced really well and was a good length to keep the students engaged. Since I
hadnt read anything to these two groups of students before, I wanted a fairly brief book so that I could
gauge their attention and interest. I wasnt nervous but I was curious to see if these grade seven
students thought they were too old to be read to, and they certainly werent. In the future, Ill be less
apprehensive about reading even longer texts to them. I learned some pretty good presentation skills
and how to interject some serious questions into class discussion without altering the playful mood or
the atmosphere of the class. I can only get better at this over time.
The lesson was spread out over two days and I think I should have had a better method of setting the
mood and having a stronger minds on portion for the second day. It was difficult to get the group
immersed in the task and no one really finished the activity. I think that the group component was still
successful, but I definitely could have strengthened the introduction the second part of the lesson to
ensure every group member was actively participating and understood their groups goal. I think that
read-alouds can absolutely hold an important place in every classroom. Frankly, I was overwhelmed by
the number of options there were for math related picture books alone, let alone all of the diverse and
creative books there are available now. They are a fun, nostalgic, enjoyable avenue into any type of
learning or lesson plan and I dont see any downside at this point in my career in education.


The read-aloud with this group went very successfully!

The discussion with this class about their prior knowledge of various social justice issues was
really telling and they were very engaged with it, they took it seriously. They brought up issues
like racism and racial profiling, gender equality which interestingly was brought up specifically as
an issue in the developing world, so we discussed that for a while. I asked them what kind of
inequities exist in terms of gender issues locally and I was given examples like men are frowned
upon as nurses, women dont earn as much in the work force, women can be expected to fill
service roles for men.
They had really great ideas and thoughts about social justice even though they werent totally
confident about these issues, but theyre certainly not unaware.
One student thought that the book might be called One Grain of Rice because the girl on the
cover is small and alone but might grow and help people. What a great prediction!
Great responses during the questions during the reading! They had a good grasp of the
implications of poverty and we explored verbally some of the different ways it can come about in
the world. We also discussed that poverty isnt something thats removed from Canada, it
happens here to many people. They agreed with this, certainly didnt resist the concept. When I
asked them what Rani should do they all called out She should ask for rice!. I asked them if
they thought hed just hand it over that easily, they said no.
When I folded out the large illustration in the book, the whole class gasped and loved it. For lack
of a better term, it was adorable and endearing.
They ended the class by doing (mostly) quiet work on their charts in their groups related to the
amount of rice discussed in the text.
The second day, we pretty quickly got started on working on the questions and illustrations. We
went through the chart and I made sure everyone had the correct amounts so that they could
carry forth and do the other math towards their group work. This took up the rest of the second
days lesson until the remaining 10 minutes wherein the groups shared with one another.

This groups class discussion was shorter lived than the others but was still quite meaningful.
They touched on issues related to racial profiling and poverty, so when I got to the questions on
poverty during the reading, they already had a solid understanding of the meaning of that term.
When I asked this group what the book could be about, I received some compelling predictions
and responses. One student said shell ask for one grain of rice for each citizen and another
said its probably about hunger and poverty and how important even One Grain of Rice can be.
Very thoughtful group, not always comfortable expressing though.
When I asked what Rani should do, I received resounding ASK FOR RICE! and like I did with
the previous group, I asked if hed give up his wealth so easily, just because he was asked
nicely. They said that she should trick him, but couldnt think of why or how.
This group made the connection between the text and exponents pretty easily.
The rest of the first day and the whole of the second day went similarly to how 7A went about it.
But with this group, we didnt get an opportunity to have a gallery walk or carousel because they
didnt have a double math period like the other class did, so it wasnt well consolidated. Before
the end of class I was still able to engage in a discussion about the nature of the questions they
were responding to and what they thought about the prices of rice throughout Canada and
fairness, so it certainly wasnt all for naught. Again, this is my area of improvement in terms of
my ability to time manage and use class time effectively.

Robert Durocher 2014