This classic, fun food has been around for over 5000 years, transforms itself into snowflake and mushroom shapes, goes from un-edible to edible when exposed to heat, makes noise and is celebrated every January 19th! You got it…it’s POPCORN! These lessons and activities will help students recognize and celebrate a popular snack food.
Class Time: 4-5 days (43 minute periods)
Class Size: 16
- 11.3.6 A Demonstrate knowledge of techniques used to evaluate food in various forms (e.g., canned, frozen, dried, irradiated).
- 11.3.6 C Analyze factors that effect food choices.
- 11.3.9 G Analyze the application of physical and chemical changes that occur in food during preparation and preservation.
- What is the answer to the following: What classic, “fun food” has been around for over 5000 years, transforms itself into snowflake and mushroom shapes, goes from un-edible to edible when exposed to heat, makes noise and is celebrated every January 19th? POPCORN
- Types of Popcorn: Microwavable, Jiffy Pop and Kernels for Home made
- Have students complete the Pre Viewing Anticipatory Guide about popcorn nutrition and then view the YouTube clip here. After viewing, complete the Post Viewing Anticipatory Guide. How did we do?
- To learn more about popcorn, read the article “Popcorn: A “Pop” History” and complete the questions.
- I like to show short videos showing how popcorn gets from the farm to the table, some scientific aspects of popcorn an even a visual follow-up to the article with an episode of Alton Brown: Pop Culture
(also includes a demo of home made popcorn). See resources below for video information.
- Are all types of popcorn created equal? Participate in a popcorn lab comparison with three types of popcorn: Microwave, Jiffy Pop and Home made. Focus on preparation time, taste, cost and nutritional value. Use Alton Brown’s Perfect Popcorn Recipe.
- Using the results from the comparison lab, complete the follow up activities: rankings, graphs, summary paragraph and unit price calculations.
- Using all of the information students learned about popcorn, have them partner up and create a magazine article titled “20 Things You Didn’t Know About Popcorn” using the “Discover Magazine” template example.
- Popcorn Lesson (PDF)
- Pre & Post Popcorn Anticipatory Set (PDF)
- Popcorn Article Questions (PDF)
- Popcorn Comparison Lab (PDF)
- Popcorn Lab Follow-Up (PDF)
- Popcorn Math (PDF)
- 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Popcorn (PDF)
- 20 Things Countdown Examples (PDF)
- What Makes Popcorn a Superfood? YouTube Clip
- How Popcorn is Made Clip
- The Science & History of Popcorn YouTube Clip
- Alton Brown: Pop Culture
(These are no longer free on YouTube. Amazon price is 2.99.)
- Popcorn: A “Pop” History
- Alton Brown’s Perfect Popcorn Recipe