Kids Love A Popping President!

This idea of a president popping created a lot of laughs!!  You don’t have to serve popcorn for this lesson but it sure motivates and rewards the students!

*This post contains affiliate links.  For more information, see my disclosures here.*

Watching the Pops!

And having an actual popcorn machine where the kids can watch the popping fits this lesson perfectly.

I use the Stir Crazy West Bend popcorn machine.*  It’s the easiest and best popcorn machine I’ve ever seen or used!  This machine alone creates a great time at our writing workshops!  My returning campers remember and rave about this machine and have no trouble gobbling up 2nd, 3rd and 4th helpings of the simple kernel, oil and salt combo.

So, before I give you the popcorn writing lesson, let me tell you about this super easy popper!

popcorn kernels heating up, popcorn writing prompt popcorn kernels fully popped, popcorn writing prompt

It is a HUGE hit every time and motivates the kids to write.  Moreover, it rewards them for their finished work.  My husband found this popper at a shop four years ago.  We have used it COUNTLESS TIMES.  Because it’s so easy to use, I started taking it to writing camps and workshops.

Popcorn Writing Prompts

Particularly, I bring it when I conduct the Popping President writing prompt and the non-fiction writing prompt below. .

ingredients to make popcorn

It’s so simple.  3 Tablespoons of canola oil, 1 cup of kernels.

oil in the popper a cup of popcorn kernels kernels in the popper

Plug it in and watch it pop!

Plain, Simple Ingredients

We appreciate the fact that we’re using plain, simple ingredients.  No chemicals.  No microwaves.  Just a sprinkle of salt.  During the snack break the campers gobble it up.  I let them have as many servings as they want.  I keep serving until we run out.  Then, if they want more, I we pop more!  At home, I plug it in at a ground level outlet and set the popper on the floor.  We sit around it like a camp fire, myself and my little ones.

small children watching the pops

It get’s hot!

While it’s popping, everyone knows to stay clear because it gets hot.  As soon as the pops stop, I tip the popper upside down.  The dome lid serves as a bowl.

a bowl overflowing with popcorn

I serve the children their individual bowls of popcorn, sprinkle a little salt, and sit right there on the floor while we eat and chat!  A favorite family memory of mine was the day my husband walked in the door as we began eating.  He grabbed a bowl and sat right there with us!  Other times, we take our bowls to the couch for a family movie.   This popper has proven to be a never fail hit among kids (and adults)!

Now let’s write a fictional story about a popping president!

Common Core State Standards

NOTE: This lesson can address the following Common Core State Standards:  CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.K.3, W.1.3, W.2.3, W.3.3, W.3.3.B, W.3.3.C, W.3.3.D, W.4.3, W4.3.A, W.4.3.B, W.4.3.C, W.4.3.D, W.4.3.E, W.5.3, W.5.3.A, W.5.3.B, W.5.3.C, W.5.3.D and W.5.3.E.


One student's story about a popping president
My 5 1/2 yr. old son’s Popping President Story

In order to get a full understanding on how I conduct each writing lesson you may want to read the Writing Prompts Introduction post.  The lesson outlined below (and all other prompts posted) will make more sense and be easier to follow and use.  Here’s the lined paper I use for Grades K-2 and Grades 2-7

Tell the Story Line

Tell the storyline: “The president of (name the country) sits down with his wife to watch a movie and enjoy popcorn.  As soon as the president starts eating the popcorn he starts to pop, pop, pop up and out of his seat and can’t stop.  Your story has to come up with a solution on how to get him to stop popping.  Your 1st and 2nd ideas won’t work.  The last idea will.”


Brainstorm possible solutions to get him to stop popping. Write the students’ responses on the board.  Here are some ideas my campers came up with:

Sprinkling him with salt

Giving him soda

Putting him out in the cold

Catching him in a net

Show the 5 Sections

    1. Introduction
    2. Problem
    3. 1st attempt to solve the problem
    4. 2nd attempt
    5. 3rd attempt and conclusion

As mentioned in my writing prompts introduction:  K-1st Graders are encouraged to write 1 sentence for each section, 2nd Graders 2 sentences, 3rd Graders 3 sentences and so on.


Guide the students through the following steps.  They are free to use their own words.  Remind them that ANYTHING can happen in their story as long as they follow the steps to keep their story organized.  I’ve written examples in italics just for your own guidance.

  1.  Begin by writing when, where (optional), who and what event.

Last night, in the White House, Mr. President sat down with his wife, the First Lady, to watch a movie and enjoy popcorn.

2.  Tell the problem:

All of a sudden, …


As soon as Mr. President began eating the popcorn, he started to pop, pop, pop, up and out of his seat.

3.  Describe the first attempt to stop the popping:

Startled and confused, the First Lady, called _____.   They tried to catch Mr. President.  It didn’t work.

4.  Then, describe the second attempt:

The First Lady thought to sprinkle salt on him.  It didn’t work.

5.  Next, describe the third attempt that worked:

Finally, _________ thought to grab him by the feet and serve him soda.  Mr. President was able to hold the can of soda and take a sip.  As soon as he did, he fell fast to the floor and didn’t pop again.

6.  Write a conclusion that includes reflection and thoughts for the future:

No one knows exactly what caused the popping and FBI agents will be investigating the popcorn company that made the popcorn. 

Print the Lesson

Here’s the full lesson for you to print out and use.


Once the campers finished writing I served them popcorn.  They could glue some of it to the border of their writing for their art accent and then eat the rest!  I gave generous portions and allowed the kids 2nd and 3rd helpings.  It’s just too much fun and they deserve the reward for their writing!

If you’d like lined paper with the title, “A Popping President” typed in (like the samples below), you can use this one for K-2 and this one for Grades 2-7.

president pops-a finished story


Correct the Paragraph -(Here’s a paragraph for you to print and use.)


Words with # of Letters

I also gave the campers time to share their stories!

a popping president-one student reads his story a popping president--one girl reads her story