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Time4Learning Demos

What Is Corn?

Explore Different Varieties Of Corn With This Corn Unit Study

By Andrea Dillon
*This post contains affiliate links. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.

Corn! We love corn. We eat corn on the cob, popcorn, roasted corn…we enjoy corn mazes in the fall. It’s corn! But, what is corn? What are the different varieties of corn and what about maize? We’ve got you covered with these corn resources and unit study ideas.

Want to know the inspiration for this post? Check out the adorable interview here and the song it spurred here.

History Of Corn Varieties Of Corn Where Is Corn Grown?
Corn Science  Corn Games  A-Maize-ing Corn Printables


History Of Corn

Where did corn come from? How did we get different types of corn. Learn the history of corn at the links below. 



Rethinking the Corny History of Maize |  Smithsonian Magazine  

“A new genetic study traces the movement of one of the world’s most vital crops from Mexico to South America.”


The Natural History Of Maize | Encyclopedia.com

“The history of maize and its domestication may be traced back some 8,000 years.” Learn more here!



Varieties Of Corn

Are there different types of corn? This might be new to many families that are only familiar with the corn we eat on the cob and the popping variety for popcorn BUT wait there is more! 

Dent Corn Flint Corn Pod Corn
Popcorn Sweet Corn

Dent Corn 

Dent corn also called cow corn is a typed of field corn. This is what you see as livestock food but did you know that it is used for so much more?! 



What Is Dent Corn: Planting Dent Corn In The Garden | Gardening Know How

“What are some of the uses for dent corn? Read on to find out about planting dent corn and other pertinent dent corn information.”

Flint Corn

Flint corn also known as Indian corn is grown for similar uses as dent corn. Flint corn is also used in many fall holiday decorations because of the variety of different colors it displays. 


Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Indian Corn | How Stuff Works 

“From wreaths to centerpieces, Indian corn seems to be everywhere in October and November. Everywhere, that is, except on a dinner plate. It’s corn, but can you actually eat it? And where did it come from?”


Indian Corn: A Fall Favorite | History.com

“Flint corn, or Indian corn, those ears with the multicolored kernels, crops up in all sorts of fall decorations. How is it different from other types of corn, and can you eat it?” 

Pod Corn 

Pod corn also known as wild maize. This type of corn is a mutant form of corn not a wild ancestor of corn. The mutation causes leaves to form around each kernel. 


Bloom of the Week – Pod Corn (NOT POPCORN) | The Blackman Lab University of California

Berkeley“Learn some science behind this mutant corn. 


Pod corn develops leaves in the inflorescences | Phys.org

“Pod corn has a spectacular appearance that has fascinated naturalists for two centuries.”


We eat it duing movies. We string it on holiday trees. What is popcorn and how it is different from other types of corn? 



From Seed to Snack | Popcorn.org

“Popcorn is a whole grain maize product. It resembles corn-on-the-cob in appearance and cultivation, although only popcorn kernels have the ability to pop.”


History of Popcorn | The History Kitchen 

“First, the sound hits you — “pop, pop, pop” — slow at first, then a firestorm of kernels as they magically transform into billows of crunchy white deliciousness.”

Sweet Corn 

Sweet Corn | Food Source Information | Colorado State University

What is sweet corn? Get information on that and more. 


The Sweet State of Corn | Feeding the Future

“Researchers at the University of Florida are on a mission to save—and sweeten—sweet corn.”



Where Is Corn Grown?

The corn you buy at the store, the corn you pop…where does it come from? Well, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “Corn is grown in most U.S. States, but production is concentrated in the Heartland region (including Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, eastern portions of South Dakota and Nebraska, western Kentucky and Ohio, and the northern two-thirds of Missouri). Learn about growing corn at the links below.

Corn – KidsGardening
“The corn we know today could never survive in the wild; it relies on humans to plant it. That’s because the kernels (seeds) adhere firmly to the cob, rather than loosening and scattering on their own. It takes some strong hands — or a machine — to loosen the kernels! However, it wasn’t always that way.”

“Although corn (or maize, as it’s known throughout much of the world) is grown in nearly all 50 states, production is primarily concentrated in the northern and Midwestern states—collectively known as the U.S. Corn Belt.”



Corn Science

Use the corn for science! There are lots of fun ways below. I especially love the science fair projects! These would be prefect for our STEM Fair!

Experiments With Popcorn | Love To Know

“Popcorn makes a great experimental material for kids because it’s readily available and fascinating to all.” 


Experiments with Popcorn – Explorable.com

“Experiments with popcorn are a fun way to test a scientific theory with the added bonus of having some tasty food to eat afterwards.”


Explore the “POP” in popcorn | Scientific American

“A bursting science project.” 


How to Do the Dancing Popcorn Experiment | STEAMsational

“Looking for a fun popcorn experiment? This dancing popcorn experiment is the perfect dancing corn experiment to test the duration and effectiveness of different chemical reactions.”


Science Fair Projects – Popcorn.org

“Everyone knows popcorn is a great tasting snack, but it is also a fascinating food and great subject for your science fair or school project.”



Corn Games 

Have some fun playing with corn. Check on these online games, boardgames and more!

Corn Learning Games | My American Farm

“Free online games for grades K-5 teach children math, reading, science and social studies skills in the context of agriculture.”

 RoosterFin Race Family Board Game 

“ROOSTER RACE: It is up to you to help the roosters gather corn by correctly predicting if the number on your racer card will be higher or lower than the lead racer.”



How to Make a Cornhole Game Set | This Old House 

“TOH’s Team Saturday shows you how to plan out the right dimensions, size and spacing for this popular bean bag toss game.”


How to Make a Set of Cornhole Bags

“How to make your own DIY cornhole bags that will last you a long time.”

A-Maize-ing Corn Printables

We always love printables to go with our units and this one is no different.

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