North Carolina History Digital Textbook Project

Two worlds: Educator's guide

By Pauline S. Johnson


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This activity is designed to be used with the article “The Importance of One Simple Plant.” The true/false statements will enable students to compare what they previously knew about maize with what they’ve learned by reading the article.

Read the following statements. Before you read the article “The Importance of One Simple Plant,” write whether you believe the statement is true or false. Then after you read the article, write down whether the statement actually is true or false.

Before reading Statement After reading
  Maize is another word for corn.  
  Native Americans believed that maize was the food of the gods.  
  Maize made up 50% of the diet of Indians.  
  Maize was very easy to grow.  
  Both Europeans and Indians used maize just as a food.  
  Succotash is a kind of maize stew with deer meat.  
  Indians could make moccasins out of parts of maize.  
  The “Three Sisters” were a group of stars that Indians thought helped to determine the future of the tribe.  
  The Europeans had never seen maize before they got to North America.  
  The European grains that they brought with them, like wheat and oats, grew very well in North America.  
  Colonists found that they had to work hard to grow maize.  
  We still eat maize today.  

After you have read the article “The Importance of One Simple Plant,” list three things you have learned about maize.

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Social Studies (2003)

Grade 8

  • Goal 1: The learner will analyze important geographic, political, economic, and social aspects of life in the region prior to the Revolutionary Period.
    • Objective 1.02: Identify and describe American Indians who inhabited the regions that became Carolina and assess their impact on the colony.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Social Studies (2010)
      • Grade 8

        • 8.C.1 Understand how different cultures influenced North Carolina and the United States. 8.C.1.1 Explain how exploration and colonization influenced Africa, Europe and the Americas (e.g. Columbian exchange, slavery and the decline of the American Indian populations)....