Center Focus

Popping Popcorn

  1. For this center, you will need to pop kernel corn while your students are observing. In order for your students to get the most out of this experience, you should use a portable stove and pan with a clear lid.
  2. Have the group of students observe the steps that the kernel goes through to become a piece of popcorn.
  3. Before discussing the science behind the popping, have the kids generate some of their own theories about what is happening.
  4. The popping of the kernels is due to the pressure build-up within the kernels themselves. In each kernel there is a tiny amount of moisture. As the kernels are heated, the moisture "wants" to escape--this causes the popping. As the moisture explodes from the kernel, the corn is turned inside out...and the fluffy white popcorn appears.
  5. Make sure to have some butter and salt handy!

More Center Focus Ideas

Exaggeration In Stories
Height of a Tree
Millennium Inventions
Inclined to Slide
Melting Ice
How Much is 2000, Anyway?
Chinese Symbols
Am I a Square?
Re-tell A Story
The Medal Winners
Mold Observation
Tack Probability
Spin the Dreidel
Letter to an Author
String Art
Candy Heart Count
Decorative Vase
Area of a Shamrock
Matching Animals To Their Names
Columbus Portraits
M&M Fractions
Record a Story
The Real Reason
What’s the Stamp Worth?
Discovering the Area of Triangles
Surf the World
Tile Probability
Leaf Estimation
Sort the States of Matter
Compare Hair
Dice Probability
Aluminum Boat Contest
Popping Popcorn
Discover Pi
Tall Tales
Dancin’ Raisins
Hackey Sack
Flannel Board Phonics
A to Z
Food For Thought
What Adds Up to 10?
Color Pastel Classmates
Determining Density
Block Volume
Haikon Mosaics
New Year’s Resolutions
Does It Measure Up?