Back to all Lessons


C is for Corn (At Home)

Grade Level: Kindergarten

Students will explore the parts of corn and the sounds of the phoneme hard C. Students will infer through evidence where corn comes from and what animals might eat corn. Students will also practice making the letter C and other letters of the alphabet using playdough.

Teaching the Lesson

Learning Objectives

  • Students will describe and name the parts of a corn plant and an ear of corn.
  • Students will identify the hard C/c phoneme they hear.
  • Students will describe the process it takes to grow corn.
  • Students will communicate the idea that all living things need water to live.



  • Read or listen to the book We Grow Corn! book found online at While reading the book introduce the hard C phoneme and have a discussion about the following things:
    • When we say corn, what is the first sound our mouths make?
    • How do we represent that in letters? Students may indicate both K/k and C/c.
    • Show students a picture of a letter C/c. What sound does the letter C/c represent? What words do you know that have the C/c sounds?
    • Write the word “corn” on a piece of paper, emphasizing the hard C/c sound. What letter does corn begin with?
    • Today, we will talk about the letter C/c and an ear of corn. We will be listening for the C/c sounds and learning about the parts of an ear of corn.
    • Lead further discussion by asking questions such as:
      • Where does corn come from? Answer: Variety of answers, but steer toward farming
      • Where does corn grow? Answer: Field/farm/garden/soil
      • Who grows the corn on a farm? Answer: The farmer
      • What animals might eat the corn? Answer: Livestock -cows, pigs, chickens
        • Use C is for Corn PowerPoint
      • What is a combine? Answer: The piece of machinery that cuts the corn (note, this begins with C and has the hard C phoneme)
      • If the farmer runs out of corn and needs more corn to feed to his or her animals, what will the farmer need to do? Answer: grow some corn
  • Discover the anatomy of corn. Using student sheets S2 & S3 to label the parts of a corn plant and an ear of corn.
  • Make playdough letters of the alphabet, specifically a C.
    • Using the recipe below make homemade playdough.
    • Once made and “cured”, use the playdough to make different letters of the alphabet.

Homemade playdough recipe & ingredients

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup salt
    • 4 teaspoons cream of tartar
    • 2 cups lukewarm water
    • 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil (coconut oil works too)
    • Food coloring, optional
    • Quart sized bags
  • Mix together the flour, salt and cream of tartar in a large pot.
  • Next add the water and oil. If you’re only making one color, add in the food coloring now as well.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the dough has thickened and begins to form into a ball.
  • Remove from heat and then place inside a gallon sized bag or onto wax paper.
  • Allow to cool slightly and then knead until smooth.
  • If you’re adding colors after, divide the dough into balls (for how many colors you want) and then add the dough into the quart sized bags. Start with about 5 drops of color and add more to brighten it. Knead the dough, while inside the bag so it doesn’t stain your hands. Once it’s all mixed together you’re ready to PLAY.

NOTE: Store the play dough inside the bags once done to keep soft. Keeps for up to 3 months.

Extension Activities

  • Plant corn seeds (if you don’t have any available any seed will do) and observe their growth by recording how many days until it germinates or sprouts and measuring how tall they grow each week.
  • Discuss that all living things need water and prepare students to water their cups over the next several days.
  • Ask the child(ren) the following questions when growing the plants:
    • What do plants need to grow? Answer: Sunlight and water (write this on the board or chart, so students can see this.)
    • What do animals need to live? Answer: Food, water (add to chart or board.)
    • What is one thing both need that is the same? Answer: Water
    • Could we say the same about us? Answer: Yes
    • Then, what do all living things need? Answer: Water


This lesson is the work product of the Kansas Corn Commission. Our lessons are written in collaboration with Kansas teachers for use in the classroom. Teachers may copy and share this curriculum. Use of this product for commercial or promotional use is prohibited without express permission of Kansas Corn.

Newsletter Sign Up

Each quarter we release a newsletter written by teachers for teachers. This is an easy way to keep up with what is happening at Kansas Corn STEM.

Subscribe Today!