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Nursery student holds corn on the cob

In hands-on fun we got to investigate and explore a really tall cornstalk. We discovered many ears of corn still left on the stalk, the crinkling sounds of the dried husks, and just how tall it was when we were next to it.

Nursery students investigate a tall cornstalk

We made corn kernel prints by painting on bubble wrap, then pressed paper down on to the paint. We talked about different kinds of corn....harvest corn, feed corn, popcorn, and yummy yellow delicious corn that many of us love to eat!!

Next, we read a silly story called The Best Thanksgiving Ever by Teddy Slater which was about what turkeys eat for Thanksgiving. Since it was corn, we showed different kinds of corn, including feed corn, popcorn, and corn meal. We then used a hot air popper to heat popcorn and watch it shoot all over the tablecloth. The children loved jumping like the popcorn and then enjoyed popcorn for snack.

Nursery students jump along with popping corn

We also made the corn muffin batter with the corn meal. The following day, we prepared our Thanksgiving Feast. We put the corn muffin batter into muffin tins, and cooked them in the oven.

Nursery students ladle corn muffin batter into muffin tins

Finally, we explored another use for the corn: making fishing reels. Using a dried corn cob, twine, and a magnetic hook, we made fishing reels modeled on the Nanticoke line, float, and lure (on display at the National Museum of the American Indian). We compared our corncob reels to one perhaps more familiar to us, observing the similarities — “string,” “hook” — and differences — “stick,” “spinny turning thing” — between the two. Then we cast out a line and caught fish native to the Delaware and Potomac Rivers, like trout, pike, and bass. A few friends even had a little fish-fry for the baby dolls in the kitchen.

Nursery students fish with a corn cob
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