What are your thoughts about candy corn?! They’re popular once a year and it seems people either love them or hate them.
As for teaching, bringing these candies into a writing lesson sparks kids attention right away!
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TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT
A week before Halloween, I decided to conduct an opinion writing piece with my after school writing club. I brought in a bag of candy corn* for the children to eat. And lo and behold, some wanted them and some didn’t. Some tried them for the first time.
CHARACTERISTICS AND USES
We discussed the characteristics of this Halloween candy and its uses and had to decide if it was a good candy or a useless one. The kids had to form their own opinion about candy corn and then write about it!
Common Core State Standards
NOTE: This lesson can address the following Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA.LITERACY.W.K.1, W.1.1, W.2.1, W.3.1, W.3.1.A, W.3.1.B, W.3.1.C, W.3.1.D, W.4.1, W.4.1.A, W.4.1.B, W.4.1.C, W.4.1.D, W.5.1, W.5.1.A, W.5.1.B, W.5.1.C and W.5.1.D.
NOW FOR THE LESSON!
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 PreK-K, Grades K-2 and Grades 2-7
Tell the Story Line
- First, tell the story line: “You’re going to write your opinion about candy corn and explain why you do or don’t like them.”
- Second, hang images of candy corn, show the candy bag and give each student 3-4 candy corns to try. (Of course, they can have more when they’re done writing!)
3. Third, brainstorm the candy corn colors, texture, taste, uses, ingredients. and nutrition.
4. List their responses on the board. Here are some examples:
Colors: orange, white, yellow, brown
Texture: hard, squishy, crystalized, sticky, gummy
Taste: sugary, sweet, buttery, frosting-like
Uses: cupcakes, cakes, trail mix, holiday design
Ingredients: sugar, corn syrup, salt, honey, soy protein, gelatin, confectioner’s glaze, dextrose, artificial flavor, titanium, dioxide color, yellow 6, yellow 5, red 3 and blue 1
Nutrition: 0 Fat, 0 Protein, Lots of sugar.
Show the 5 Sections
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.
NOW TO WRITE!
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.
- First, decide your own opinion about candy corn and write it in the introduction.
Young or Struggling Writers
Young or struggling writers will only write one sentence here such as:
I love candy corn! Or Candy corn is bad!
Older or Advanced Writers
Older or advanced students can begin by hooking their reader with questions or a description. These students should end their introduction by stating their opinion. Here’s an example:
Halloween is fast approaching. Families are putting up decorations. Children are choosing costumes. Classes are visiting pumpkin patches. Most importantly, grocery stores are filling their shelves with candy corn. I love candy corn!
2. Second, write about the first reason you do or don’t like candy corn. Specifically mention the color, texture and taste.
First of all, they are hard, squishy and gummy in my teeth. The tastes lasts a long time. My favorite is the frosting flavor.
First of all, the colors are boring. The chewy candy gets stuck in my teeth. The sugar gives me a headache.
3. Third, write about the second reason. Mention the ingredients and nutrition.
The honey and cocoa are a perfect mix. The candy is a great sugar rush to get you through those end of the semester fall finals.
Candy corn are made of pure sugar and corn syrup. Some even contain hydrogenated oils which are terrible for your brain. Worst of all, they give you a sugar crash after, leaving you slipping and falling in your seat. Before you know it you’re fast asleep with drool dripping down your lip. EMBARRASSING!
4. Fourth, write about the third reason. Focus on its uses.
Candy corn has endless uses during the fall. They can fill a candy jar or the top of cupcakes. You can put them in with peanuts and popcorn to make a great after school snack.
Candy corn are completely useless. Who wants more sugar on top of sugary frosted cake or cupcake? Gag! Plus, what holiday designs are really worth the cost and terrible health effects of these sugar triangles?!
5. Lastly, write a conclusion that restates your opinion. Use different words from the introduction.
Candy corn is the perfect Halloween sweet. If you don’t think you like candy corn, give them one more chance! At least, try them with a healthy mix of peanuts and popcorn. If you absolutely refuse, just give them to me!
Candy corn is horrible. If you think you like candy corn, take a long moment to reconsider. Is it really worth sacrificing your health and cheerful mind for these drab candies? I don’t think so.
Print the Lesson
Once students finished their writing, they worked on their candy corn art accent around the border.