Interactive Assessment for Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn
A number of questions are embedded within the short film Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn, which explores the genetic and archaeological evidence that corn was domesticated from a wild Mexican grass called teosinte.
Ten thousand years ago, corn didn’t exist anywhere in the world, and until recently scientists argued vehemently about its origins. Today, the crop is consumed voraciously by us, by our livestock, and as a major part of processed foods. So where did it come from? This film tells the story of the genetic changes involved in the transformation of teosinte into corn and the supporting archaeological evidence pinpointing this transformation to a particular time and place in Mexico.
This version of the film with embedded questions contains automatic pause points, during which students answer questions about the film to assess their understanding of the concepts presented. After answering all the questions, students can view and print their answers.
Student Learning Targets
Describe the genetic and archaeological evidence that suggests that corn was domesticated from teosinte.
Explain how changes in only a few genes can account for the dramatic differences between corn and teosinte.
archaeology, artificial selection, crossbreeding, domestication, maize, Mexico, microfossil, selective breeding, teosinte
Beadle, George W. “The origin of Zea mays.” In Origins of Agriculture, edited by C. E. Reed, 615–636. The Hague: Mouton, 1977.
Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
HS-LS1-1, HS-LS3-1, HS-LS3-3, HS-LS4-1; SEP6
AP Biology (2019)
EVO-1.F, EVO-1.M. EVO-1.N, EVO-3.F, IST-1.I, IST-2.A, IST-2.B, IST-2.D, IST-2.E, SYI-3.C; SP1, SP4
IB Biology (2016)
2.7, 3.1, 3.4, 5.1, 9.3, 10.2
AP Environmental Science (2020)
IB Environmental Systems and Societies (2017)
Common Core (2010)
Vision and Change (2009)
CC1, CC2, CC3; DP1