All About Popcorn: A conversation with The Boy.
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. 🙂