book bonanza – the king’s chessboard

Sep 4, 2010

The King's Chessboard

We read The King’s Chessboard at my Math Alive! class this week. The children all loved it and I hope it taught them the power of knowing math, the foolishness of pride, and the immensity of the doubling principle.

This book tells the story of a proud and foolish king who wants to reward one of his subjects. The man does not want to be rewarded, but the king insists. The man then allows the king to give him one grain of rice on the first day, two grains of rice the second day, four grains the third day, eight grains the fourth day, sixteen the fifth day, and so on, for the course of 64 days. One day for every square on a chessboard. Well, if you do the math, you end up with a VERY large number by the 64th day. Go ahead…figure it out and post back here with your answer! Bonus points for anyone who also figures out the total amount of grains of rice that would be given over the full 64 days.

My children love this book and now my math students love it as well. Check it out at your library or buy it for your own home library and I guarantee you will love it! Make sure you add in a proud and loud voice for the king and you are assured read-aloud success!

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1 Comment

  1. Tami

    Jaxon and I started doing this. He got quite a ways just doing multiplication – but it got to where we just put it into excel and got the answer in 2 seconds :) 9.22337E+18 on day 64
    1.84467E+19 – total

    Something I read said that the second number (maybe the first too) is more grains of rice than have ever been on earth. I can only say – WOW! LOVE numbers!!