Scavenger Hunt Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan 4

The Story of Corn

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  1. Students will conduct online research and answer questions describing what types of products are made from corn today.
  2. Students will explain why corn is considered a biodegradable, renewable resource.
  3. Students will identify how corn is used to produce value added products such as ethanol.
  4. Students will complete a graphic organizer showing the importance of corn production in everyone's lives.

Activity Summary

  1. Students will work with a partner to complete online research as part of a scavenger hunt activity. Ask students to think of at least two additional research questions. Students can number a paper or word processing document from 1 to 10 and record answers to the questions.
  2. Students will draw a concept map to showing the importance of corn production in everyone's lives. Students may use Inspiration software to design their concept maps.
  3. After completing the research activity, students will design a Web page or use KidPix software to design a poster that showcases their investigation. Using the theme, "From Field to Your Home", students will explain how their family uses corn products.


  • What three parts of the corn kernel are the basis for all corn products?
  • Refiners separate the corn into its components -- starch, oil, protein and fiber -- and convert them into higher value products. What are the most important refined corn products?
  • What foods are produced using starch?
  • List the practical everyday products and foods your family uses that are made from corn.
  • Corn is a biodegradable, renewable resource? Why is that important?
  • How is ethanol produced?
  • (Add your own question)
  • (Add your own question)

Tips For Teachers

For some students, 8 research questions may be too challenging. You might consider asking some students to answer the even numbered questions and others the odd numbered ones.

Graphic Organizer Examples

Many students may find this activity very motivating. Encourage students to contact a local extension office, Farm Bureau, or local corn salesman with additional questions about corn by-products.

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