Use The Hidden Corn, based on a Mexican folktale, as part of a class recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated between September 15th and October 15th each year. Hispanic Heritage Month honors the diverse peoples of Spanish-speaking backgrounds who have come to the United States from many countries around the world. It is an opportune time for you and your students to share, discover, and appreciate the contributions and rich heritage of Hispanics in the United States. This particular play is part of a longstanding tradition of folktales and mythstories in Mexican culture.
For thousands of years, corn has been a staple in the Mexican diet as well as in those of other Hispanic cultures. Help students learn about this important food by having them research the life cycle of a corn plant, how farmers grow and harvest corn, and ways corn is used in foods and other products (corn oil, cornmeal, corn syrup, packaging materials, ethanol). You might also share books that illustrate the significance of food in Hispanic cultures, such as The Tortilla Factory by Gary Paulsen (Voyager Books, 1998), Growing Up With Tamales by Gwendolyn Zepeda (Piñata Books, 2008), and Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto (Putnam, 1993). Then invite students to collect and share recipes for Hispanic dishes that use corn.