Wild Rice
an Ojibwe legend retold by
Heather Cardinal and Becky Maki
Waynaboozhoo was worried about what his people would eat during
the long winter months. For several winters there had been very
little food and the people had suffered. Waynaboozhoo wanted to
put a stop to the suffering, so he went into the woods and fasted
for four days in a wigwam. On the fourth day he started on a long
walk, and as he walked, he thought about how to keep his people
from starving. He continued walking until he came to the edge of
a river. By that time, he was very tired, so he lay down to rest
and fell asleep. Waynaboozhoo awoke late in the night when the moon
was high in the sky. He walked along the edge of the river and saw
what looked like dancers in the water. Waynaboozhoo thought he saw
the feathers of the headdresses worn by Ojibwa men. He walked a
little closer and asked if he could dance along. He danced and danced
until he grew tired. He lay down and fell asleep again. The next
morning when he awoke everything was calm. Waynaboozhoo remembered
the dancers but thought it all had been a dream. Then he looked
out at the tassels waving above the water. He waded out and found
long seeds that hung from these tassels. He gathered some of these
seeds in the palm of his hand and carried them with him back to
his wigwam. There he continued fasting. Once again he grew tired
and fell asleep, and as he slept, he had a vision. In the vision
he learned that he had gathered wild rice and that it was to be
eaten. He tasted the rice and found that it was good. Waynaboozhoo
returned to the village and told his people about the rice. Together,
they harvested enough to provide food for the long winter.

Wild Rice
Word Problems
Join: Result Unknown
The people harvested ___ pounds of rice the first night and ___
pounds the second night.
How many pounds of rice did they harvest altogether?
(9, 4) (18, 6) (24, 18)
Separate: Result Unknown
Grandmother made ___ pieces of frybread. She gave Waynaboozhoo ___
pieces. How much frybread did Grandmother have left?
(9, 4) (18, 6) (24, 18)
Part Part Whole: Whole Unknown
Grandfather has ___ pieces of frybread and ___ pieces of venison.
How many pieces of food does he have altogether?
(6, 7) (22, 34) (37, 47)
Compare: Difference Unknown
Grandmother has ___ beads sewn onto her medicine pouch. Grandfather
has ___ beads sewn onto his medicine pouch. How many more beads
does Grandmother have than Grandfather?
(10, 8) (28, 12) (34, 26)
Multiplication
Grandmother has ___ baskets. There are ___ rice cakes in each basket.
How many rice
cakes are there altogether?
(3, 3) (5, 12) (10, 12)
Measurement Division
A gatherer had ___ baskets of wild rice. He gave ___ baskets to
each of his friends.
How many friends got wild rice?
(6, 2) (15, 3) (36, 12)
Partitive Division
Grandmother made ___ pieces of frybread. She gave the frybread to
___ friends.
If each friend got the same amount, how much frybread did each friend
get?
(6, 2) (12, 4) (55, 11)
Join: Change Unknown
___ pounds of wild rice were gathered in the morning. More was gathered
in the afternoon.
By late afternoon, ___ pounds of wild rice had been gathered.
How much wild rice was gathered in the afternoon?
(7, 13) (17, 27) (24, 36)
Separate: Change Unknown
Grandmother made ___ pieces of frybread. She gave some to Waynaboozhoo.
Then she had ___ pieces.
How much frybread did she give to Waynaboozhoo?
(8, 5) (20, 9) (34, 26)
Compare: Referent Unknown
Grandfather had ___pieces of frybread. He had ___more pieces than
Waynaboozhoo. How many
pieces did Waynaboozhoo have?
(12, 7) (23, 12) (43, 14)
TwoStep Problem
Each family gave ___ pounds of wild rice for the feast. ___ families
gave rice. After the feast, ___ pounds of rice were left over. How
many pounds of rice were eaten at the feast?
(3, 4, 6) (5, 6, 15) (6, 7, 26)
