The Art of Corn

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SWBAT answer text dependent questions and cite evidence within the text to support their thinking and answers.

Big Idea

Working together helps us to achieve more than we can alone!

Prepare the Learner

15 minutes

Pictorial Review 

This is the third lesson in a series of fourteen.


We review the Pilgrim’s voyage map that we recorded on the pictorial.


I ask:  What do you remember from the map?  Think about what we talked about yesterday?  What labels did we put on our pictorial?  (as I am prompting their thinking, I am pointing to the pictorial to focus their attention)  I continue:  I want you to turn and talk to your partner and tell them one thing you remember from the pictorial.


Because my students are second language learners, I always model language use before they are expected to participate.  I call a student up to practice with me and say: Boys and girls, listen to how we use our words to tell what we remember from the pictorial.  Watch how we are respectful and take turns.


I look at my 'partner' and say: I remember that the Pilgrims took a long voyage on the Mayflower across the Atlantic Ocean to find a new place to live.  What do you remember?  I let my 'partner' tell me what he/she remembers.  If they struggle for language, I will help them along through "My Turn, Your Turn."  This is a strategy where I model and the student echos me.


These generative linguistic patters can be used:  

I remember ___.   

The                went                  .

                       wanted __________ .

The   lived               .

The  ____   helped  the  _____ _. (Pilgrims or Wampanoag can be used)



As students are Partner Talking, I am monitoring and assisting where necessary.  For my struggling learners, I might prompt  with some basic guided inquiry:

Do you remember how the Pilgrims traveled to America?

What were the Wampanoag houses called?  

Where did the Pilgrims live first?  Where did they come from?

Interact with text/concept

45 minutes

 The Best Thanksgiving Book ABC Adventure-2nd Read


I use the ABC book  again.  I do multiple reads of a text so that student reading is purposeful and focused.  The purpose of this read is different from the first read.  In this second read we will find evidence of the type of foods the Wampanoag ate from the text and illustrations.  


I say: Today we will learn more about the animals and other wild foods the Pilgrims and Wampanoag ate in order to live on the land. We will find evidence in the story of the foods that were used. Then we will place these foods on to our map (point to pictorial).  I want you to think about whether the food was from the land or from the water because that will tell us where to put it on our map.


I pass out the pictorial pictures to partners or  groups. I let the students study the pictures first and tell what they see.  (I do not hand out the mussel, clams, and crab cards. They are not in the book, but will be used for more critical thinking after using the book.)



Rereading the story and Finding Evidence

I have the students sitting with me on the carpet and I have the book projected onto the SmartBoard.  As I review the book again, I encourage students to read high frequency words in text.   I stop and prompt: You know what that word says.  It is one of our word wall words.  who can read it to me?   I note one to one correspondence when reading with my finger as well as spacing by prompting: Do you notice how I touch the words with my finger as I read them?  Who can come and show me a space between the words? I stress content vocabulary on each page.  I do this to bring to life the foundation skills that are so important in both reading and writing.  When the kids see their use in real writing and reading, it gives purpose to their learning.


I also stop on each page and ask: Does this page talk about any food the Pilgrims or Wampanoag used?

On the “B” page, the text mentions the word “eat”.  I ask: Is any food is mentioned?   I explain: This is a clue that the author will be speaking about food on the next pages, so the we need to be ready with their pictures.

When we get to the story pages beginning with F I say: Where do they look for food? (forest) – is this land or ocean? Look closely at the illustration.


If needed  I say: I see grass, so it must be land. Now let’s look at what foods they found in the forest. What do you see? (mushrooms, acorns (nuts), squirrel, turkey, rabbit, wild apples)


I say: Who has a picture that matches these illustrations?  I guide students to place the pictures near the forest trees on the Completed pictorial.  I help the students to say “The _   was/were on/in        _.” (ex: The turkey was on land)


I continue using the same prompts with the following stopping points:


“G” page: wild strawberries, red berries (currants) and seeds (pine nuts piñon) in the forest

 N” page: Corn kernels that grow into cornstalks – planted on cleared land near their houses. Say: Who has a picture of what the corn kernels (seeds) turn into?

“Q and R” pages: quail (picture and text)  and turkey (text on pg. Q but in the picture on pg. R) 

“S” page: pumpkins and corn – explain that pumpkins were also planted.

“W” page: Do you see any other foods we have not talked about?  Explain that in the bowl is popped corn.

“X” page: fish (cod) – found in the ocean.



Critical Thinking

I say: Here are some other animals and plants that the Pilgrims and Natives ate that are not mentioned in the text. (beans, oyster, mussels, and crab).


For each picture I ask: Are  these animals (shoreline of Cape Cod) or plants (planted by the corn)?


For each picture I ask:  Why do you think that this is the right place to put the animals and the bean plants?  


I allow students who did not have a picture in the previous exercise to place the shell fish and beans onto the map.   I say:  Some of these animals were gathered on the shoreline, but the fish were hunted (fished) and speared.  


Extend Understanding

20 minutes

Corn Art


We discuss that corn was one crop that the Pilgrims and Indians grew and ate.  I say: Today we are going to make some corn!


I have done variations of this over the years.  They all come out very cute, so you can choose which one you want to do. 


I use yellow or buff construction paper for the corn and green construction paper for the husk.   I have used unpopped popcorn, buttons, tissue paper and paint to represent the corn on the cob.


With each item, I try to stress a different skill.   When I use unpopped popcorn, my class usually needs practice with number sense, so I have them count out a certain number of kernels for their corn.  I say: I want you to only glue on 10 pieces of corn onto your corn on the cob.  You have to count 10 and take them to your desk to glue them.  Help me count 10 for mine and I will show you how to glue them.  I model how to count and glue the popcorn.


The paint and tissue paper are usually glued in a pattern of some sort: AB, ABB, AAB, or ABC.  I say: I am going to glue my tissue paper balls in a special order called a PATTERN.  Everybody say "pattern."  Students repeat.  I am going to use red and yellow tissue paper and glue my tissue paper balls in the pattern red/yellow/red/yellow/red/yellow.  Watch as I glue a red ball at the top of my cob.  I glue a red tissue paper ball.  Next I will glue a yellow one beside my red one.  I glue a yellow tissue paper ball next to the red one. What color should come next if I am making a red/yellow pattern?  (red)


The buttons can be expensive, but I usually do a sorting activity(big, small, colors, etc.) with those before we glue them onto the corn.   I say: Boys and girls, I want you to glue a certain group of buttons onto your cob.  Pick only the buttons that fit into your group.  I want to glue small buttons onto my corn, so I am going to pick 5 small buttons out of the bucket and glue them on my cob.  I read into the bucket and show students a button and ask:  Is this a small button or a large button?  Students help me sort out 5 small buttons and I model how to glue them. 


Save the corn for the next day, as it will be the springboard for our writing.