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A Year's Work Correlation Work With Corn

( Originally Published 1915 )

September and October

Field and Laboratory Work.—Take class to field and study stand, barren stalks, and diseases as outlined in chart following this correlation work. Study location of ears on stalk, leaves, rain guard, ligule, tassel; pull up some stalks and study roots, watch for signs of insect injuries, insects and fungous diseases. Take stalks to school-house and cut into node lengths; study structure of stalk, fibrovascular bundles, pith, sheath, and if pupils are old enough have them learn about pollination, fertilization, xenia, Mendelian segregations, law of averages, and mutations. Make sack and gather seed in field.

Have pupils study stand in fields at home; try to learn who has the best stand in the district. Have pupils learn to estimate yields in the field.

Industrial Work.—Learn to tie up seed corn, or, if parents prefer, make and fasten seed corn to racks or boards. Have pupils do weaving and mat-making with husks. Have them gather clean, bright husks to be used later in the year. Dry the husks as farmers dry tobacco.

Reading.—Lessons on Corn in Farm Life Reader, Book Five; Farmers' Bulletins Nos. 229, 313, 253, 303, and 292. Whittier's Corn Song, Celia Thaxter's The National Emblem.

Language, Grammar and Spelling.—Oral discussions; Essays on Seed Selecting and Storing; Reports of Field Studies; Compositions on Harvesting Corn; the best pages from all compositions to be saved for the Corn Booklet.

Arithmetic.—Problems on determining yields, number of stalks to an acre, kernels on an ear and how much of an acre a good ear will plant, cost of harvesting, filling silo, shrinkage and value of crop. See problems in " The Corn Lady," pages 80 to 99; also Farm Arithmetics.

Geography.—Study home geography as related to corn production. What is the length of season? What is the time of the last frost in the spring? The average time of the earliest frost in the fall? What is the average summer temperature, that is, on what geographical isotherm is the district? What is the night temperature? What is the average rainfall and during what months does most fall? Compare home yields with those of other places and seek to learn causes.

History and Civics.—History of the Corn Plant, how the Indians raised and used corn, history of corn harvesting machinery (see Farmers' Bulletin No. 303). Study national and 'local land surveys to give fields a definite location.

Physiology.—What is the value of green corn for animal feeds? For human food? What is the relative value of different parts of the plant? See Farmers' Bulletin No. 298.

Drawing and Writing.—Make drawing of the corn plant, write pages for Corn Booklet, remember that there are three attributes of good writing—ease, legibility and speed. Make blue prints for corn board.

Music.—" When Corn is Waving," Choral Song Book; and " Song of the Harvesters," Riverside Graded Song Book, part 2.

Domestic Science.—How to cook and serve green corn, how to can corn. How may a woman put up the most corn in the best form for human food?

November and December

Field and Laboratory Studies.—Study how best to harvest corn, cutting, husking, shredding, putting in silo, stacking; study losses in handling. What is the most economical harvesting machine? How is seed corn best preserved? Study the corn kernel and learn to score and judge corn.

Industrial Work.—From drawings made during the month of October, make Corn Board or Seed Tray. This is almost an ideal Manual Training exercise for a rural school, being as complex as a beginner requires, being useful in the school and useful later in the home. A corn board ( see Fig. 55) requires sawing, planing, boring, nailing and surfacing. Prepare ten ears for corn show, study how to wrap, label and pack. Have smaller children braid and make corn-husk mats, baskets and covers. String popcorn for Christmas decorations.

Reading.—Whittier's The Huskers; Farmers' Bulletins Nos. 303, 313, 409, 272; get from your State College bulletins on corn, also have pupils bring reliable farm journals and use articles on corn for supplementary reading.

Language, Grammar and Spelling.—Oral discussions; have pupils take notes while reading and then make short talks from their notes; have essays on harvesting corn, storing, how to make a rat-proof crib, how to ventilate a crib, corn judging, corn shows, results of corn club work, descriptions of the corn kernel and other parts of the corn plant. The best pages to be kept for the Corn Booklet.

Arithmetic.—Problems on shrinkage of corn, cost of harvesting and marketing, cost of producing an acre of corn, cost per bushel, cost of fertilizers, labor schedules for horses and men.

Geography.—Study maturity of corn, effects of freezing on food value and germination; where can corn not be kept on account of seed weevil? Study effects of soil, slopes, windbreaks on yields and maturity. Study markets; where does the corn go to? If fed to animals, where do they go to?

History and Civics.—The economic and political meaning of a corn crop, what the government is doing to secure markets for corn and corn products. Recommendations of consuls. What is State College doing to help corn growers?

Physiology.—Corn as human food, see Farmers' Bulletin No. 298; effects of distillation on human system. Protein, carbohydrates and minerals in corn compared with wheat.

Drawing and Writing.—Drawings of the corn kernel, drawings of the home fields, rewrite pages for Corn Booklet.

Music.—" The Corn Song," Folk Songs and other Songs; " The Pop-Corn People," Songs of the Child's World. Repeat songs of September and October.

Domestic Science.—Early methods of preparing and serving corn, cooking corn products for the corn show.

January and February

Laboratory Studies.—Learn to select seed corn, practise scoring, grade corn and file planter plates to fit size of kernels, test seed corn, use both box and rag doll.

Industrial Work.—Make seed corn testing box, see Fig. 19. Make furniture with. corn husks, string corn kernels for portieres.

Reading.—These are the months for reading; books, farm journals and government and State bulletins will need to be read on nearly every topic given. But the emphasis should be on reading how to secure good seed and how to breed corn; however, something should be read on how to grow corn.

Drawing and Writing.—Make blue print for seed testing box, make maps of home fields, try to re-map for better rotations; make map of United States, showing corn belt and other corn States. Continue writing or recopying pages for Corn Booklet.

Language, Grammar and Spelling.—Oral discussions, write directions for making a seed corn box, directions for testing seed corn, write a survey of the district telling acreage of corn, the place of corn in the rotation, the relative value of corn compared with other crops, write an account of what becomes of the corn crop, stock fed, and what becomes of the stock.

Arithmetic.—Problems from questions of crop rotations, remapping, seed testing problems, time required, value of tested seed, profit from testing, problems on what may be gained by better methods of growing corn.

Geography.—Study the corn belt and why it is the corn belt, describe the people of the corn belt; has corn any influence in changing them? What other countries grow corn? In what markets does their corn compete with ours?

History and Civics.—What has corn done for your State? What has been its influence in the corn belt? What has been the effect on the soil? What are the prospects for the future? What transportation problems has corn created and what is the government doing to solve them? What are seed corn trains, and how run?

Physiology.—Why corn alone is not a balanced ration and how alfalfa helps to supplement corn; what human beings need in addition to corn for a balanced ration.

Music.—" Rustle and Blow," Nature Songs and Stories; " The Nation's Emblem," Riverside Graded Song Book; repeat songs of previous months.

Domestic Science.—Cooking corn breads, steam bread and mushes. Study to determine how farm corn may be used to economic and dietetic advantage.

March, April and May

Field and Laboratory Studies.—Seed germination, root hairs and their functions, comparative length of roots and stalks and the lesson for cultivating, food and moisture requirements of the corn plant, preparation of seed bed, shelling seed corn, grading, weeds injurious to corn and how best kept in check, insects, plant diseases, gophers, squirrels, moles and bird enemies, depth of planting.

Industrial Work.—Thinning corn, fertilizer tests, fitting seed planter plates, making square and learning how to plant so that planter crosses wire at right angles.

Reading.—Send to Experiment Station and to United States Department of Agriculture for latest bulletins on growing corn, have pupils bring agricultural papers and read on preparation of seed bed, planting, cultivating; have pupils read books from school library, Crossley and Bowman's Corn, Holden's Corn Secrets, Farmers' Bulletins 537 and 409, text-books on agriculture; some of the older pupils should read on breeding corn, how it is done, what results we may expect, how corn behaves in verifying the Galton, Mendelian, DeVries, and other laws of breeding.

Drawing and Writing.—Make drawings for fertilizer experiments, drawings to illustrate how to plant and check straight, drawings of insect enemies, drawings of weed seedlings, seeds, and drawings of seed bed conditions. Write booklet pages on planting, preparation of seed bed, cultivating, and all that is left of how to grow an acre of corn (see Farmers' Bulletins).

Language, Grammar and Spelling.—Oral discussions, have pupils make outlines of topics and talk from these, have debates on how best to plant or grow corn, the relative value of corn compared with other crops, have written reports or readings on corn enemies, short course on Farmers' Institute lectures.

Arithmetic.—Problems on the cost of seed bed preparation, labor schedules, percentage problems on losses from poor seed, insect ravages, water conservation and losses, low yields, and methods of combating weeds and enemies.

Geography.—Keep weather chart, determine temperature of soil at planting time, time required for corn to germinate in soil of different temperatures. What are people doing in the different places where corn is grown?

History and Civics.—What is the government doing to help hold in check weeds? Plant diseases? Bird enemies? Rodents? 'What laws protect a farmer against hunters and stock?

Physiology.—How insects affect health in rural districts, how weeds affect health, the dangers from rats.

Music.—The State song, " How Corn Grows," Child's Song Book. Domestic Science.—Starch and its uses; corn starch and its uses.

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