The Humphrey Company store in Cleveland's Public Square in the 1890s.

Up to Their Ears in Popcorn

Student activity based on the article “Up to their ears in popcorn” from the Nov/Dec 2005 Our Ohio magazine.

Academic Content Standard
(Social Studies Grade: 5-6): History Standard – Create chronological time lines and identify possible relationships between events.

(English Language Arts Grade: 8): Informational Text Standard – Identify and use the organizational structure of a text such as chronological order and evaluate its effectiveness. Analyze information found in maps, charts and diagrams.

(Note: Key terms used from Ohio’s Academic Content Standards are in bold below).

Discussion points

  1. While reading the “Up to their ears in popcorn” article, have students think about the organization of the article. What subjects use sequencing?
  2. After reading the article, discuss what organization helped him or her to understand the article. (ex. Growing popcorn, production of popcorn balls, production of Candy Kisses)
  3. Discuss the sequence of producing popcorn balls. Did the author use this sequence effectively to help you understand the article? How about the author’s use of sequencing to describe the production of Candy Kisses? Was it effective?
  4. What topics in the article can be ordered chronologically? What events can be ordered by date?

Hands on at Home

  1. Use the sequence of events discussed above to outline how the Humphrey’s produce popcorn balls and Candy Kisses. Write the brief outline.
  2. Draw symbols to show the process of growing popcorn.
  3. Imagine you are publishing an extra diagram for this article. Use the dates (1890-present) and events noted in the article to create a time line for the article to be published.
  4. Research other events in Ohio history that happened during this time period (ex. Governors of Ohio, events in Ohio history) and create a multi-tiered time line reflecting these dates.
  5. Ohio History resources
  6. Ohio Governors


  1. Explore photos of the Euclid Beach Park at: (Scroll down the page for the “photo gallery”) Analyze the information in this Web site? Does it enhance your understanding of this article? How?
  2. Using an Ohio road map, find Wakeman Towline Road in Huron County. How is this article connected to the “When canals ran through it” article? Explain the comparison or what the articles have in common.

Student activity was prepared by Camille Kopczewski, who is coordinator of religious education at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Grove City. She is a former sixth grade social studies teacher for South-Western City Schools. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in education.