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For Elementary Readers

Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando

Following World War II, Momofuku Ando struggles to perfect his recipe for a noodle soup that is delicious, inexpensive, and a quick way to feed the hungry.

Apply in the Classroom

Have readers collaborate to write a biography to get to know someone better—each other! After reading Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando and other picture book biographies, talk about what kinds of questions each book answered about the person, such as where and when the person was born, where they lived, who were the person’s family members and friends, major events in the person’s life, and what the person wanted to or did achieve.

Pair students to interview each other to gather information and facts. You may want to have them share a childhood photograph or memento with their biographer to help spark conversation. Have students each develop one page on their subjects, including an illustration or image, to compile into one book, or encourage narrative nonfiction fiction writing and have each student create their own book about their own subject. Make a copy of each biography volume for your classroom library or format it as a pdf file to create an ebook to share with families.

Questions for Discussion or Reflective Writing

What inspired Ando to create his special ramen? Why was it important to him that his ramen was “fast and convenient”?

When Ando experiments but can’t get his recipe right, he doesn’t give up. Why do you think he never gave up? If you were Ando, would you have kept trying? Why or why not?

What does Ando mean by “Peace follows from a full stomach”?

Have you ever eaten instant ramen? Do you like it? Why or why not? What is your favorite flavor or what flavor would you like to try?