2nd Grade - Social Studies

LESSON PROBLEM: Culture: What was the lesson learned in the story, "One Grain of Rice"?


The story "One Grain of Rice" is a tale of a clever girl who teaches a greedy raja a lesson and saves her village. The raja promises to keep their rice safe in case of famine. After a few years, a famine occurs but the raja keeps all of the rice for himself. He planned a feast for himself because he was the raja. Rani found rice that had fallen from baskets being delivered to him and gathered it in her skirt. She returned the found rice to the raja. He offers her a reward. She asks for a grain of rice on the first day, two grains the next, four grains on the third and each day after, double the rice of the day before for 30 days. This story is a folktale.

The story "One Grain of Rice" takes place in India. It is a folktale that has been passed from that culture to ours. A folktale is a story that has been told and re-told. It is passed from one person to another over a long period of time. The lessons that can be learned from this story are important to all cultures.

Rani is a clever, quick thinking girl. She takes one grain of rice and makes a very important plan. When she sees a "trickle of rice falling from one of the baskets", she plans what to do. She knows what must be done and she does it. She makes a choice. She chooses to do what is right for her village. She does what will help others.

Rani is an honest person. She tells the truth. When she is accused of being a thief, she tells the guard that the "rice fell from one of the baskets". She also says that she is "returning it now to the raja". She could have kept the rice for herself and no one would probably know.

Rani is patient. Her plan doesn't reward her right away. "On the ninth day Rani was presented with two hundred and fifty-six grains of rice. She had received in all five hundred and eleven grains of rice, only enough for a small handful". This isn't enough rice to feed her village. She had to wait for 30 days to have enough to feed all the hungry people.

Rani is not selfish. Instead of keeping the rice for herself, she shares it. She is generous. She gives the rice to the village people and she leaves a basket of rice for the raja. She makes sure that the raja provides for the future. She teaches him lessons in fairness and loyalty. She teaches him that he should only keep what he needs and he should give the rest to his people. He has to give his people what belongs to them.

Rani is a good person. She shows that what counts is fairness, honesty and loyalty. At first the raja believes that he can treat people poorly just because he is a raja. He feels he deserves things just because of who he is. He breaks promises and feels that he has the right to do that because he is a raja. He says, "I must have the rice for myself. Promise or no promise, a raja must not go hungry". He feels that he is better than his people. He is wealthy and he is a raja.

Rani is loyal. She does not leave the village people to fend for themselves.

"One Grain of Rice" is a folktale that teaches the lessons of kindness, generosity, loyalty, fairness, honesty and patience.


Make a tiny bowl of rice:

You Need:

plastic pop bottle cap


tacky glue

one toothpick cut in half


1. Mix the rice with the tacky glue.

2. Fill the pop bottle cap with the rice mixture.

3. Dip toothpick pieces in tacky glue and place in bowl for chopsticks.

4. Let dry.

You now have a rice bowl with chop sticks!


What are the lessons the raja learned in the story "One Grain of Rice"?

Write them in a list and illustrate it.


  • generosity
  • kindness
  • thoughtful
  • wise
  • folktale
  • clever
  • fairness

Click here to play Rice Rampage!
Rice Farm Animals:
Rice farms have lots of animals. Click here to learn more about rice farms and the animals that live there.
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