• Grade Level: First

  • Time: 60 minutes

  • Core Objectives:

  • 7010-0602 Explain why a verity of food should be included in diets.
  • 3010-0403 Categorize according to characteristics
  • 5010-0802 Employ a variety of mental computation and estimation techniques
  • Classroom Objective:

  • Children will demonstrate that a combination of foods are more healthy and that the foods we eat today are similar to the foods the Pilgrims ate, by categorizing the foods on poster board paper.
  • Materials needed:

  • Stiff piece of paper shaped like a corn on the cob
  • Unpopped popcorn \colored
  • Popcorn popper
  • Large piece of paper \marker
  • Magazines
  • Glue \scissors
  • Crepe paper
  • Bowls \Salt
  • Food pyramid hand out
  • Real corn on the cob

    Anticipatory Set: Give each child 5 kernels of corn off the cobs and explain to them that is all they will be eating for dinner today.

    *Would this be enough food for you to eat all day?

  • Do you think you would be very healthy if 5 kernels of corn was all you ate every day?
  • Tell "The Legend of the Five Kernels of Corn"

  • Tell first winter the Pilgrims spent in their new home was very cold. Food was in short supply. Some days they had only enough food for each new person to have five kernels of corn for the day. Finally spring came. They planted food and it grew. All the pilgrims did not die. From then on, when a time of Thanksgiving came around, the Pilgrims put five kernels of corn on each plate to remind themselves of their blessings. Let us also remember: (Written on the poster paper)
  • The first kernel reminds us of the autumn beauty around us.

    The second kernel reminds us of our love for each other.

    The third reminds us of Godís love and care for us.

  • The fourth kernel reminds us of our friends-especially our Native American Brothers
  • The fifth kernel reminds us that we are a free people.


    Procedures: Explain that the pilgrims would not have had food that first winter, so many of the pilgrims would have died. The Indians taught the pilgrims to hunt wild turkeys and deer. They showed the pilgrims how to look for berries. The Indians knew about corn and taught the pilgrims how to plant and cook it. Corn can be made into corn bread, corn pudding, corn syrup and even popcorn. On the first Thanksgiving the pilgrims and Indians ate deer, wild turkeys, fish, beans, squash, corn soup, corn bread and berries.

  • Hand out the food pyramid paper
  • Talk about the food pyramid: Meat
  • Fruit and vegetable
  • Milk
  • Grains and bread

    * What kinds of food are there in the food pyramid?

    * What group do you think corn is in?

    * What about corn bread?

    * Did the pilgrims eat all food from the food pyramid?

    * What about you? Do you eat all the foods in the food pyramid every day?

  • Teacher models menu lists on a large piece of paper in front of class, acting as a scribe. The children will create two menus together. Have the children create a menu of the food eaten on the first Thanksgiving and a menu of the foods we will eat at our Thanksgiving today. Ask the students to separate the items into two lists:

  • The Pilgrim list Our list.
  • As the students work on their Thanksgiving menus, remind the children that their menu list should have foods from each area in the Food Pyramid to create a healthful Thanksgiving dinner for their families.


    The students can write their lists, coping from teacher list or cut pictures out of magazines and gluing them onto a large piece of paper folded in half.



    Since corn is a food that the pilgrims and Indians ate and we still eat, have them make an Indian corn. To make an Indian corn on the cob, give each child a stiff piece of paper the shape of an ear of corn. Have the children glue onto the corn shape, real popcorn kernels. The husks can be added by using crepe paper.


    Then have the children count how many kernels of corn they have on their cob. Count the same number and place then in a bowl to pop. Have the children predict how many people they think could have a bowl of popcorn from one cob. Make the popcorn for the children to eat. Check their predictions.

    *What did you notice about the popped corn compared to the unpopped corn?

    *Was your prediction about how many people it could feed right?

    Extension: Children with the teacher can make corn bread. Have the children with pieces of wood grind up the corn into a powder. After they have experienced the process of grinding up corn, have the children help measure ingredients to make corn bread. Using the attached recipe make corn bread. If the teacher does not have access to an oven at school, bake it at home and have one already baked. Children will use math skills to measure ingredients and to figure out how many pieces of cornbread will need to be cut from each pan to make sure everyone gets one piece each. Make the mixture for demonstration, but then eat the one that is already baked. Children will eat the cornbread with syrup. (Indians taught the Pilgrims to make corn syrup)

    Assessment: Informal. With check list in hand teacher will be able to see child's understanding of the Food pyramid and different foods of the pilgrim and modern day Thanksgiving dinners, by observing the paper plate.

    *Check to see if the child can discriminate foods the Pilgrims ate compared to what we eat now, through an informal interview.

    *Check to see if menus are complete; has something from every area of the Food Pyramid been included?

    *Check to see if child followed instructions about the corn prediction.

    *Observe students as they measure cornbread ingredients

    Closure: Today we learned lots of interesting things about corn.

    • We learned the Legend of the Five Kernels of Corn, which reminds us of the things we should be thankful for.
    • We learned that the indians taught the Pilgrims how to plant and cook corn and that corn can be used in many different ways, like cornbread.
    • And finally we learned that unpopped popcorn looks much smaller that popped corn.
  • Corn Bread:
    • 2 eggs beaten
    • 1 1/2 C buttermilk
    • 1/4 C sugar
    • 1/4 C oil
    • 1 C cornmeal
    • 2 C flour
    • 3 t. baking powder
    • 3/4 t soda
    • 1 t salt
    • Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 min.


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