Mysore Pak (3 Act Task)

Background info: Mysore pak is a type of South Indian candy that my dad has made my whole life for Diwali (Hindu festival of lights).

Grade level: 4th/5th

Content standards4.G.A.3; 5.G.A.2 (especially if students are given grid paper)

Practice standardMP4

Act One

What do you notice? What do you wonder?

Focus question: How many pieces of Mysore Pak (candy) will there be?

Estimate. (Too high? Too low?)

Act Two

Picture of Mysore pak with five diagonal cuts and three perpendicular diagonal cuts (one cut is hidden).

The information students will probably need is to see how many cuts were made in one direction, and to see that it will be perpendicularly cut in the other direction the same amount of times.

If students ask, these images can be used to show the pan is a square.

Act Three

Here’s the final count…

What’s interesting about Act 3 is talking about what to do with the “extra” triangular pieces on the sides. Do they count as ‘pieces’ in this context? Half-pieces? Should you not count them at all because you probably wouldn’t set them out to offer to guests?


An interesting follow up question would be how many pieces would we get if we cut the Mysore pak 5 times each direction with vertical and horizontal cuts in the pan? Why is this answer different (double!) than if we make the same number of cuts at a diagonal?

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