Innovative
Classroom

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

Candy Heart Count
U.S. Percentages
How Many Classrooms Fit?
What Adds Up to 10?
Discovering the Area of Triangles
Speech Writing
Picture Poems
How Much is 2000, Anyway?
How Long Would It Take?
The Real Reason
Thingamajigs
Valentine Flower Pots
Make Your Own Collage
Persuasive Essay About "Millennium"
What Weighs More?
Discover the Explorers
Hackey Sack
Current Happenings in Science
Irish Mobiles
Broken Ruler
If the Earth Were Flat
Animal Alphabetizing
Chinese Symbols
Millennium Mural
Hurricane by David Weisner
Volume Conversions
The Gymnastics Incident
M&M Fractions
Corn on the Cob
Unscramble the Words
"A Busy Year" Art
How Many Squares?
What Comes First?
Create an Instrument
Block Volume
Alphabetizing Mania!
Election 2000
Story Problems
Pumpkin Volumes
What’s My Name Worth?
Homophones
The Medal Winners
Division with Models
Cinquain
Compare Hair
Area of a Shamrock
Spring Into Science
Create a Collage
Hand Sculpture
Anthropomorphism