All About Popcorn: A conversation with The Boy.


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I don’t tell my children how things work if I can help it. Instead, I ask them open-ended questions to see if they can figure it out by themselves. If they can’t figure it out, we go to the library or online to look it up.  Here’s an example of one such conversation.

I presented both children with a bowl of popcorn and while they were eating it, The Boy  asked me “where does popcorn come from, Mum?”

I said “That’s a good question. What do you think?”

“A popcorn plant!” he said gleefully.

“That would be very cool,” I said. “Have you seen a popcorn plant?”


So I said “Well, then, try again.”

The Boy contemplated the popcorn and the kernels in the bowl.

Then he picked up a kernel.

“This looks like a corn on the cob. I’ve taken the corn off the cob before and this looks like it.”

“Yes, it does,” I agreed.

“That’s what it is!” he said. “It’s a corn that’s been popped! That’s why it’s called popcorn!”

“That makes sense,” I agreed.

“Because when you put these in the popcorn popper, and make them hot, they pop!”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“But where does the white stuff on the popcorn come from?”

“Another good question. What do you think?”

The Boy examined the popcorn.

“Oh! I know!! The popcorn turned inside out and this white stuff was inside it!!”

“How do you know that?” I asked.

“Because if you look at the popcorn you can see this little brown bit that looks like the outside of the popcorn before it’s popped.”

Critical thinking skills in a 7 year old boy. 🙂


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About Broot

Thoughts about learning and life that are lost in a sea of blogs.

14 responses to “All About Popcorn: A conversation with The Boy.”

  1. anitajd says :

    Kids are so smart….when they apply themselves! My 3 boys are very inquisitive and they are constantly asking “How? Why?” As easy as it would be to answer and explain, I turn it around and ask them, just as you do. I”m always impressed with their thinking and answers!

  2. Jenn @ You know...that Blog? says :

    Smart boy! I know some adults who couldn’t figure that one out 😉

  3. Aleta says :

    I love how you leave it to him to answer his own questions! Smart boy!

  4. Lizbeth says :

    I love this! My own daughter can’t even figure this out….hummmm, that’s not saying much!

  5. 2GirlsonaBench says :

    Smart kid! We love popcorn and would love to get that popcorn plant. 🙂

  6. solodialogue says :

    You are a smart mom to patiently talk him through that analysis. And what a quick study! I will have to try this myself…when the boy finally asks me a question like this! 😉

  7. Robin says :

    Children are much smarter than we (as adults – as a whole) give them credit for….and quick to learn. It isn’t till they are older (adults) that they close their eyes, ears and minds.
    I ventured over via SITS and landed on your front door (your post, “My Grapheme Synesthesia chart”), which I find fascinating….which, I now want to read your “Questions about Synesthesia”….which, has me looking around….which,has me reading more…..for which I have bookmarked your blog. You have a very interesting, a very fun blog.

  8. eof737 says :

    Your kids are brilliant… I love popcorn any day too. 😉

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