Kansas elementary teachers can get curriculum and materials for a one-week inquiry-based unit using corn provided by the Kansas Corn Commission. Kansas Corn’s popular Seed to STEM program for secondary school science teachers is in its second year, and the new elementary program is a valuable expansion to Kansas Corn’s educational offerings, according to Educational Curriculum Manager Sharon Thielen, PhD.
“Elementary teachers can visit our kscorn.com website and directly download our lessons. If they want the materials provided for the learning activities, they simply fill out a form on our website and we send them a free teacher’s kit,” Thielen said.
Lessons for kindergarten-first grade; third grade and fourth grade are now available at kscorn.com. Lessons for second and fifth grade will be available soon. All units are connected to the Next Generation Science Standards and include up to three fun activities that will motivate learning. Free teacher kits with supplies for the one-week unit, are available to Kansas teachers.
Corn & Life: A Kernel’s Adventure is the kindergarten and 1st grade unit. In the first lesson, students explore how important corn is in their daily lives by discovering the many products made with corn. In the second lesson, the students are asked to find the seed of a corn plant. The students will test their ideas by planting various parts of the plant to see what grows.
Corn: Staying Alive is the 3rd grade unit. Students propose ideas about what they think corn seeds need to germinate and grow. Students learn how to investigate to solve a problem specifically looking at how the material the seed is planted in, such as soil, sand, rocks, will impact the growth of the corn plant.
Corn: Structurally Speaking is the 4th grade unit. This unit includes three lessons that focus on structures and functions of both a corn plant and a corn seed. Students will plant corn seeds and determine what is needed to grow a healthy plant. They will observe seed germination and learn the structures and functions of the seed and end with a lesson observing a full corn plant.
Kansas Corn’s education programs are guided by a teacher advisory board led by 12 educators from all areas of the state. The board provides guidance and expertise to assist in developing and implementing Kansas Corn’s educational initiatives. To learn more about Kansas Corn’s educational programs, including teacher workshops, visit kscorn.com or contact Sharon Thielen, educational curriculum manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find the Kansas Corn education program on Facebook and Twitter @kansascornstem