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Unformatted text preview: The History
of Corn from 1400
BC-Late 1800s Mesoamerica’s
Gift to the Native
Americans Kansas History Project
July 2006 Lesson designed
for 8th grade
Mrs. Amelia Adams
Contributor Lesson Goal
Lesson Students will study the history
of corn and its impact on the
Native Americans in Kansas
through various medias.
through Kansas State Standards
Kansas History Benchmark # 3 – The student uses a
working knowledge and understanding of
individuals, groups, ideas, events, eras, and
development in the history of Kansas, the
United States, and the world.
United Spanish Benchmark #2, indicator #4 –The
student explores social and geographic factors
that affect cultural practices. Materials Needed
Materials Maps of Central America and Kansas
Video of Children of Guatemala
“Mayan Creation Story”
“Pawnee Creation Story”
Various types of corn to share in class
“The Story of the Corn Husk Doll”
How to Make a Corn Husk Doll
Corn Grinder More Materials
“How Corn Came to the Earth”
The History of Corn
Native American Recipes of Corn
Carl Barnes (Corn Grower from Turpin)
Student’s parent to demonstrate making corn
tortillas Items made from corn today, poster board
class Overhead, pictures, books, various Indians
tales about corn
tales Information about the corn dance Lesson Vocabulary
Lesson Mesoamerican-Central American indigenous
groups. Indigenous-native to a particular area Aztecs-an indigenous group from Mexico Maya-an indigenous group from Central America Maize-another word for corn Ritual-a religious ceremony Artifacts-articles made or modified by people. Mounds-round domes of dirt where Indian
women grew corn.
women Tortilla-a flat round bread made from corn or
flour. Activity One
Activity First create a KWL chart with the class to
display in the classroom throughout the unit.
Complete the last day of unit.
Complete Use maps to show important locations. Give students a brief handout about the
the history of corn. Have students read it
silently, then do a read, think, share activity
with a partner. Then discuss in class. Make
sure all students understand the vocabulary.
sure Activity 2
Read with a partner the Mayan
Creation Story. Discuss as a
class. Write down in their
journals 5 ideas from the story.
Watch the Mayan Story of
Creation on Guatemalan video.
Compare stories. Types of Corn Raised by the
Corn Husking and
Scraping Activity 3
Read the story, Pawnee Creation Story
and use a Venn Diagram to compare
and contrast it to the Mayan Creation
story. Use the overhead to do this activity
with the class. Also discuss
what the word corn means
in both cultures. Activity 4
Discuss the various ways
the Aztec, Maya, and Kansas
Indians used corn in their
cultures. Show various
pictures on overhead of tools,
and how corn was used in
rituals . Discuss their seed
selection and how they stored
corn. How did they know when
to plant corn? Special Guest
Carl Barnes from Turpin will
share with the class his
knowledge about corn and the
impact it had on the Indians culture.
He will bring various artifacts and example
of Indian Legend
The class will read the legend,
“How Corn Came to the Earth”.
Compare it to the other legends
about corn. Who is MotherCorn? Activity 7
Discuss with the class the
various foods the groups ate
from corn. Such as tortillas,
tamales, beverages, sweets, breads,
and puddings. Show the corn grinder, have a
student’s mother demonstrate how to
make corn tortillas. Give each group a different
corn recipe to take home to make and report to
the class about its taste and texture. Other Uses of Corn
Indians used all the parts of
the corn plant. The husks
could be braided and woven to make
masks, moccasins, sleeping mats, baskets
or cornhusk dolls. Corncobs could be
used for fuel, for game darts or for
ceremonial Activity 8
First read, “The Story of the Cornhusk
Doll”. Teach the students how to make
cornhusk dolls. Give students the handout
the Corn Dance
Corn Corn Dance Activity
Have students research the importance of
Corn Dance on the internet and its
meaning in the Native American culture.
Students look at the handout and try to
perform the dance and sing the song.
perform Student Project
Students use various colors of corn and
create a corn mosaic using either an
Aztec, Maya, or Indian
pattern on a fourth sheet of
Complete the KWL chart
with the class.
Assessment Teacher will continually assess students
throughout the project visually, orally, and with
daily exit slips.
Students will write a 4-paragraph essay
answering the following questions.
Where did corn come from?
How did the people groups use corn in
Which story did you enjoy most and why?
How did corn impact the Indian culture?
Carl Barnes, Turpin, OK
Kalman, Bobbie- Prairie Recipes
Napier, Rita- Kansas and the West:
New Perspectives (2003)
Children of the World, Guatemala, West Middle School
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- Fall '11