Saturday, June 23, 2012

Free Thematic Corn Unit for K-2

I'm so excited to share with you the details of my corn unit. While I've designed this thematic unit for my pre-K son, it is probably more realistic for K-2 students. Because this is the first year we live in the country, I wanted to do something with the plants growing all around us. Therefore, our  unit started by me wanting to collect data in the corn fields around us. So that's where I started. I love curriculum development, albeit for the secondary, post secondary, and graduate level student. So this has been a bit of a stretch for me, and I'm sure I'll have modifications on this unit in the future! But I wanted to share what I've developed for our summer/fall 2012 science unit.

The concepts covered in the unit are:
  • measurement
  • seed growth (germination)
  • soil
  • earthworms   
These are some of the books I've purchased for our unit.

Because I have a method that worked well for me in the past, I'm organizing units the way I did as a full-time science teacher. I use tables, and briefly describe what activity I have planned, what resources I'll use, and then a column for notes about things I may need to know about that day's activity. It worked great for me in the past, stay tuned for how it works for me now as a homeschooling parent! Here is a look at how I organize my units. 

Without beating it to death here are the basics of the unit I've designed:

  • Lots of read alouds using non-fiction books on the topics
    • seeds
    • germination
    • pollination
    • soil
    • worms
  • "Field Observations" which are essentially data collection of plant growth (I use corn, but you could use anything from house plants, to sunflowers, to vegetables)
  • Simple graphing: I use stickers to for the number of leave we count each week on our corn plant and the number of corn cobs later in the season.  
  • Science Notebook: I want to start early with my son, in the idea of writing down the observations we have about what we see. Since at this point, he isn't reading or writing, he's dictating to me, and thats working out just fine. 
  • Vocabulary: I choose words from the reading. You could use these for a word wall, or I use them simply as a kinesthetic way to cut and paste into our science notebook.
  • Hands-on activities: these range from ideas I got from the books my kid is reading to demos that are easily done based on what we just read (and ideas I got off of Pinterest!)
  • Fieldtrips: I include 3 field trip ideas in this unit (grocery store, and two nature walks) 
  • Role-Play/Drama: acting out the pollination process by finding objects to represent various parts of the flowers and inscects.
  • Art & Sensory Play:  I include a wonderful Mud Art activity in combination of the soil portion of the unit, that I got from 
  • Lap Book: I've ended the unit with a lapbook for an assessment as a way to pull ideas together.
Here is a copy of the teacher unit plans. I'm not sure how much help this will be to anyone, but I thought I'd put it out there to share, in case someone else wants to try something similar! 

Stay tuned to see if this unit actually worked for my pre-K son! I hope you find the download of the unit helpful! Please let me know what you think, and I would love to hear any other ideas you have for improving the unit! 


  1. Oh, perfect timing - thanks Darci! I'd printed the other parts of it already but we'll be visiting our friends and their corn and wheat fields in about a week, so this is perfect.

    That being said, I should probably let you know that the download today doesn't seem to be working; I'm getting a 404 error message.

    1. Eddie, Oh...I can't wait to hear about how it goes for you! Wheat fields....great idea!

      I fixed the download issue...I forgot to share it publicly! It should work now! Thanks for the heads up!

    2. Thanks! I've shared your corn unit on The Usual Mayhem's Facebook page.

      Actually, if you'd like to see a hands-on wheat field unit, a friend of ours did one with his 11 year old:

  2. HI! I'm visiting from Circle of Moms =-) I think my favorite thing about the contest has been finding other homeschool families and getting to get a peak at their journey!!!

    What a GREAT unit!! You have so many cool ideas here. And I LOVE your beaker social buttons - too cute! I am following you via email now!

    I blog at Living Life Intentionally (currently #27 on the list) and would really like to get into the top 25!!! I would appreciate it so much if you would give me a vote!! Thanks for considering and Happy Homeschooling =-)


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