Popcorn Activities, Grades K-5
Turn a Popular Snack into a Tasty Teaching Tool with Lessons, Games, Quizzes and Other Resources
Corn, or maize, is the only cereal grain indigenous to the Americas. It was first domesticated by Mesoamericans three to four thousand years ago. No one knows who first popped corn, but popcorn poppers have been found in Peru that pre-date Inca culture. Today, the sound of popping corn is as familiar as Fourth of July fireworks.
October is National Popcorn Month. The following lessons, games, quizzes, and other resources will help turn a snack into a teaching tool.
Get On-Board the Popcorn Train ( PDF, 43 KB, 6 pgs.)
Kindergarten students will participate in cross-curricular lessons using popcorn as a teaching tool. The stations are designed to be taught by grade 4 students.
The Popcorn Book Lesson
Students in grades K-3 read and use Tomie dePaola’s The Popcorn Book to study corn and complete math and language arts activities.
Students in grades K-12 perform five simple experiments to demonstrate what makes popcorn pop.
The Science of Popcorn
Students in grades 10-12 determine the percent of water by weight for 20 kernels of different brands and the internal pressure needed for each of 20 kernels to pop.
Popcorn: Multidisciplinary Unit
Students in grade 1 will participate in popcorn inspired cross-curricular activities.
Students in grades 3-8 use corn kernels to create a "Top Corn-Producing States" map or graph.
Students in grades 3-12 research and create a timeline of the history of popcorn.
Students in grades 4-8 experience scarcity, relate the concept of scarcity to situations in school and their community, and learn that people make choices because of scarcity.
Additional Lesson Plans
Games & Quizzes (K-8)
- Popcorn Race, PBS Kids
An outdoor game for 6 or more players.
- Popcorn Games, Popcorn Board
- Pencils Out, It's a Pop(corn) Quiz!
- Popcorn Trivia Quiz, The Nibble
- Take the MNN (pop)Corn Quiz!
- Hey Pop! Popcorn Quiz
- Encyclopedia Popcornica (grades K-5)
- For Kids: Popcorn Board (grades K-5)
- For Teachers: Popcorn Board (grades K-5)
- Popcorn: History, science, and Good Snacky Fun (grades K-5)
- Gershon Kingsley — Popcorn (2:49)
The Original Popcorn Video (1969)
- Kernel Exploding in Slow Motion (00:13)
- Popcorn Song
Information about, and 400 versions of, the Popcorn Song.
- 79 Versions of the Popcorn Song
last updated: September 13, 2015