Literature Connection:

Anno's Magic Seeds by Mitsumasa Anno

Mathematical Strand:

Algebra (patterns, equations, computation, order of operations)


Students will practice the use of patterns, expand given patterns, and write equations to match the pattern given.

Grade Level:


Lesson Created by:

Jean Johnson, Fort Riley Middle School, Fort Riley, KS

LESSON Description


  • Anno's Magic Seeds, by Mitsumasa Anno; counters or small pebbles; scratch paper, pencil

1. Launching the lesson (engage):

  1. Introduce and read the Japanese tale Anno's Magic Seeds, by Mitsumasa Anno.

2.Developing the lesson:

  1. Several questions are posed throughout the reading. When a question is posed, pause to allow students time to solve it.
  2. Have students work in pairs or small groups to solve each of the questions as it is presented.
  3. Provide manipulatives (counters, pebbles, etc.) to assist students and help them to "see" the pattern.
  4. Encourage students to show all work! Have students share their results with the class, if time will allow.


  1. Encourage students to write an equation/expression that will calculate the number of seeds produced. (i.e.: where "n" is the number of seeds, (n*2) - 1 will show the number of seeds available after Jack has eaten one each year.)
  2. How will this equation change when Jack's wife is included? And the wedding party souvenir seeds? And the baby?
  3. Encourage students to write expressions accurately, keeping order of operations in mind.

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Copyright 2001 S.Ma.R.T.Books and Kansas State University