## Anno's Mult Jar / Demi One Grain

Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jar, Demi's One Grain of Rice

I was reading Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jar again tonight with my girls, followed up with One Grain of Rice by Demi. I thought to myself, these are concepts that most people wouldn't dream of attempting to expose a 4 and a 6 y/old to. One of the things I love about some of these books is the fact that you can get mileage out of them for years. Every time we read them we get something more out of them.

With the Anno book, the artwork and at least the first series of factorials are comprehensible even for younger kids. For example, if there are three mountains on two countries, both girls get that this is 2 sets of 3 = 6, and my 6 y/o could even go so far as the four kingdoms being 6 sets of 4 - skip count by 4's six times to get 24. Then my girls lose track of the sheer size of the number until we get to the dots, but even then, they can't track it well (the factorial multiplication is different than the doubling of course, and these two books are a great way to contrast that). My 8 y/o can comprehend the progression of 10! = (10x9x8x7x6x5x4x3x2x1), however.

The Demi book is interesting for me. I find the geometrical display of the Anno book more comprehensible, but the kids seem to grasp the exponential growth of the numbers in the Demi story better, I'm sure in part because doubling exponentially is more understandable than factorials. The illustrations are also somewhat geometrically displayed as you get on into the story, but not so obviously so.

Every time I read it, my 6 y/o asks more questions. Tonight it was about the raja, what that meant, why was he selfish, etc. Then, in the back, there is a number table that shows how many grains of rice were delivered day by day. Tonight they made me read each and every number out! When I got to the 30th day, I read the number - 536,870,912. My 6 y/o asked me the question, "If you took one grain of rice away from that, how many would that be?"  I showed her it would be the same number with the "2" less 1 = 1, because that was the units place, and she got that 12 - 1 would equal 11, and 912 - 1 would equal 911, etc.

This is a really fun website for doubling inquiry:

I just really enjoyed these tonight with my girls and felt like writing! Hope you all are having a relaxing summer reading math :o)

PS:  You know, this is one of the better examples of how you can deeply learn all your elementary math from picture books.

Just in one evening, with three books read with my 4, 6 and 8 y/o (we also read the Anne Geddes "Ten In the Bed," that book is gorgeous btw!), we covered concepts of:

Counting backward and forwards by ones, twos, threes, fours, fives and tens;
Subtraction
Skip counting and multiplication
Exponents
Factorials
Large numbers
Place value
Geometrical sequences
Spacial concepts (how *would* you fit 3 million plus jars in one jar :o?)

Along with a bit of geography, history, social studies, science and art.  I'm not kidding, all of these were verbally and actively explored in the space of an hour.