Positively Popcorn

Adapted from a Lesson Developed by Janie Scronce


Second Grade

Objective 3.01
Determine three states of matter:
- Solid.
- Liquid.
- Gas.

Objective 3.02
Observe changes in state due to heating and cooling in common materials.


Lesson Plan:


Hold up a bag with several popcorn kernels. Ask students a series of questions such as what is this? How do you know? Have you ever eaten it?

Hold up a bag with several pieces of popped popcorn. Ask students the same series of questions again.

Ask students if they know how popcorn goes from being a kernel to a piece of popcorn. Have the students brainstorm ideas.

Read the story The Popcorn Dragon by Jane Thayer




Ask students questions about what they observed and learned from exploring the kernels and popped popcorn and watching the popcorn actually pop. Possible questions include:

Inside of each peice of popcorn is a tiny drop of water. When heat is added, the water changes from liquid into a gas (steam). When the pressure of the steam becomes to great, the popcorn kernel bursts open to form a piece of popcorn.


Set several popcorn kernels out in the sun for several days and then try to pop them.

Teacher note: Setting the kernels in the sun will cause them to dry out. With less water they will be difficult to pop.