Did you know that the history of modern-day maize began at the dawn of human agriculture, about 10,000 years ago? Discover more by watching this Serious Science video and reading the information below. And to take this learning adventure into your classroom, have your teacher download the free Elementary Lesson Activity at the bottom of this page so everyone can share in the fun of this inquiry based learning.
Ancient native farmers in what is now Mexico took the first steps in domesticating maize by replanting the best kernels from the big grassy plant. When the European settlers landed in the New World, they didn’t what in the heck to call the strange multi-kernal grain that Native Americans grew on stalks that natives called Weachin. The word maize was originally Spanish, and comes from the word “mahiz” in the Arawak language of Haiti, and in the early 1600s it was not yet a common word in England. So the settlers just called the stuff Indian corn, which eventually got shortened to just “corn”. Ta-da, now you know where the maize-corn connection came from. It’s truly an American invention – Native American.
If you’re ready to learn more, just watch this video. Combined with the related educational materials, it helps teachers show students how some farmers no longer farm by themselves but receive help from crop specialists. These specialists help to increase plant productivity, such as corn. Students learn that farms are changing to support the environment more by using by-products in a better way. Students will be aware of other products made from corn, and have an understanding of how corn is grown and harvested.
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