There is a famous legend about the inventor of the game of chess. It is said that the Shah of Persia offered him a reward and when asked what he wanted he replied “1 grain of rice for the first square of the chess board, 2 grains for the second square, 4 grains for the third square and so on with the number of grains doubling for each of the 64 squares on the chess board.”

How many grains of rice would have been in the reward?

Estimate the weight of an average grain of rice. How heavy will all the rice in the reward be?

Nowerdays rice can be bought in 500g boxes. Each box is 12cm by 19cm by 4cm. Calculate the volume of one 500g box of rice.

Boxes of rice can be transported in vans. Estimate the volume inside a van used for transporting boxes of rice. How many vans will be required to transport all the rice in the reward?

If the rice was placed on the chess board at the rate of one grain per second. How long would the task take?

Research task: Find out how much rice is produced in Thailand each year then relate that information to this situation.

Topics: Starter

How did you use this starter? Can you suggest
how teachers could present or develop this resource? Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive
feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for Maths teachers anywhere in the world.

Click here to enter your comments.

Previous Day | This starter is for | Next Day

More Mathematics Lesson Starters

How did you use this resource? Can you suggest how teachers could present, adapt or develop it? Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for Maths teachers anywhere in the world. Click here to enter your comments.

Your access to the majority of the Transum resources continues to be free but you can help support the continued growth of the website by doing your Amazon shopping using the links on this page. Below is an Amazon search box and some items I have chosen and recommend to get you started. As an Amazon Associate I earn a small amount from qualifying purchases which helps pay for the upkeep of this website.