Wild Rice Math

The students have been learning about wild ricing and using Ojibwe words to describe what is needed and the process. The students have just been introduced to division problems and have been doing well with them. Since we are going on a field trip to the rice camp, I decided to have students make division posters using ricing terms/processes and Ojibwe words.

Materials Needed


Art Materials


Activity Process


The students have been learning about ricing in their Ojibwe Language class. They have been using Ojibwe words to describe the process and the materials needed. In Math they have been doing Investigations along with CGI math. This lesson incorporates math with culture. When I told them that they would have to be thinking about a story problem that included division, they were not very motivated. When I explained that they were going to do a story problem about division which would have to be something about ricing and would have to contain Ojibwe words, it became more meaningful to them and they were eager to get started.


  1. Use a large sheet of chart paper separated into 3 sections.
  2. For section 1 students are to come up with a division problem. The students were required to choose numbers that contained at least 2 digits.
  3. When the students came up with a problem, write that on section 1.
  4. Then ask students to write the division problem in 2 other ways that may help in solving it. They will come up with various ways that they could write the division problem including using multiplication.
  5. Write that in section 1. We then work to solve the problem and by using multiplication, we were able to check the problem to see if they were right.
  6. In section 2, Come up with a story to go with the word problem. (ex: a wild rice story about pounds split up between so many people). When the story is complete, now translate some of the words in Ojibwe.
  7. Section 3 is to be a picture to help in solving the problem. Demonstrate the process and draw a descriptive picture.
  8. Then talk about how they used various ways to look at and think about a math problem before putting down one answer. This is good practice for work in math journals.


  1. Students used math journals (but they could use a piece of paper if journals are not available).
  2. Students expected to come up with a division problem and check their work using multiplication.
  3. Students then can choose a piece of large construction paper to be divided into 4 sections.
  4. Then put the problem on the top and write it in as many different ways as they could just using a number sentence.
  5. When finished, come up with a word problem to go with their number problem and write that in section 2 of the construction paper.
  6. The word problem has to use Ojibwe words and encourage students to use a story that compliments the time of the season.
  7. In section 3 draw a picture of the word problem and section 4 is the answer to their problem.
  8. When students complete posters, they work with a partner to check through their work.


Review division and ask students how they could check to see if they got the right answer (multiplication)? They also need to check their picture - ensuring that it matches their story problem. This can be done by reviewing their project with a partner. This closure is done in the classroom however, real closure could come with a field trip to a rice camp.


There were 4 main concepts: 1. Students completed a division problem using multiplication to self check in their math journals before they could begin poster. 2. Students draw/create a picture that represents their problem, assess with partner's help. 3. Create a math project using artistic techniques/mediums. 4. Use the Ojibwe language when writing their story problem

Vocabulary Words


Once the students started working on their story problems they were asking each other for Ojibwe words and checking the dictionary for correct spelling. They were also using calculators to check their math problems. Students were really focused on what they were doing and taking their time to do a good job. Most completed the task within the given time frame of 60 minutes. Because this lesson was CGI based, the students enjoyed it more because they were actually doing something at all times with their hands and materials. Lesson Plan Image by Rabbett Before Horses, *Ricing*

Grade Levels


Primary Content Area

American Indian Learner Outcomes

Content Standards


Language Arts



Social Studies