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Popcorn Day

Social Studies Lesson
for Popcorn Day

The students will learn create a timeline regarding popcorn history facts.




  1. Read "The Popcorn Book" or share some of the interesting history facts off the internet printouts. Focus on the 4 following facts: 1. In 1492 Christopher Columbus saw in the New World (the West Indies) Indians selling popcorn and wearing it as jewelry. 2. In 1621 the Native Americans brought popped corn in deerskin sacks to the first Thanksgiving. 3. In the 1700's the colonists served popcorn with cream on it for breakfast - it was one of the first cereals. 4. In 1885 the first popcorn machine was invented.

  2. Using the chalkboard or a long piece of butcher paper, draw a timeline featuring the years 1492, 1621, 1700, and 1885.  Have the students help place the popcorn history facts on the timeline.  Older students my want to create their own timelines.

  3. Pass out the Popcorn History Worksheet and have the students complete the sheet as a follow-up activity.

Other Lesson Ideas

  1. Discuss how Native Americans brought popcorn to the first Thanksgiving in deerskin pouches.  Have the students make "deerskin" pouches out of felt and fill them with popcorn.

  2. Share with the students the different ways people popped popcorn before there were stoves, microwaves or popcorn poppers.  They either put the kernels in clay pots filled with hot sand which heated the kernels until they popped, they threw the kernels directly on the hot fire and waited for them to pop out, or they held the cob of popcorn over the fire and then ate the popped kernels directly off the cob.  Have the students construct a whole class graph of what would have been their favorite way to pop corn back in those days.

  3. Find the cities on a map which are the biggest popcorn-eating cities - Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Seattle.


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