As the growing season ends and the harvest is complete, we start to look toward Thanksgiving. What a better way to prepare than taking a look at a common crop, corn. Yesterday R13 and I learned a lot about this crop and I thought it would be a great Thanksgiving themed Geography Quest.
Identify & Map Where Corn is Grown around the World
- Corn is grown all around the world, can you find out which country is the largest corn producer? (hint: Corn Facts)
- Color a map to show where the most corn is grown in the United States.
- Label the corn belt on your map.
Types of Corn
Each type of corn is grown and bred for its purpose. Each type has varieties to choose from which give the corn its distinctive taste and texture. If you can get some varieties of dried corn, take a look at a cross section of each kernel to see the differences. Sweet corn, for example, is bred to be very sugary and has little nutrition to offer compared to corn used for flour or feed.
- Identify the four main types of corn grown in the US.
- Map the distribution of these types of corn– you can hit the majors here. Most of the time when you pass a field of corn, it’s one particular type of corn used for feeding livestock.
How Do We Use Corn?
- Feed livestock– 99% of the corn we grow is for feeding cows, pigs, chickens.
- starch sweeteners
- corn oil
- industrial alcohol
- fuel ethanol
- silage– find out what this is and how it’s made
- food source for humans
How Was Corn Used in the Past?
Native Americans perfected the use of corn in their culture and taught the Pilgrims how to use it. I’ve been reading Traditional Iroquois Corn: Its History, Cultivation, and Use which is a really thorough look at the history of corn in the Iroquois culture and its influence on NY State agriculture.
- corn cob pipes
- husks were used to make dolls and flowers (you must soak the husk first)
- food source- popcorn and veggie
- Do you know about The Three Sisters? Try and research to find out the importance of corn in Native American agriculture.
Resources for Learning More about Corn
- ThinkQuest on Corn– website with facts and activities about corn.
- Americas Farmers– information site on corn
- Corn History & How is Grows– corn is a type of grass and has both male and female flowers.
Thanks for joining me for this week’s Geography Quest. Stay tuned for another Thanksgiving themed Geography Quest next week.