W HEAT and corn are called grain because they are small, hard seeds. What other kinds of grain can you name?
Which of these grains is used the most? Which makes the choicest flour?
Some kinds of wheat are sown in the spring. These are called spring wheat.
Winter wheat is sown in the fall. A few days of sun and rain, and the plants spring up like grass, remaining green through the winter.
What color does the wheat turn as it ripens? When it is ripe what is done with it?
For what is the flour of wheat used?
What is sometimes done with the stalks, or straw?
Indian corn is one of the most useful of plants. Do you know why it is called Indian corn? It is because the Indians first raised it.
When is corn planted? How is the land prepared for planting? What is done to the corn while the plants are small? When does it ripen? How tall does it grow?
What is the stem of the corn called? What are the flowers on the stalk of corn called? On what do the grains of corn grow?
What use is made of the green stalks and leaves? What use is made of the ripe grain? For what are corn-husks largely used?
Sweet corn, if boiled when green, is an excellent vegetable. It is preserved by canning.
A large cornfield, with its tall, straight stalks, covered with green shining leaves and crowned by flowers, is a very pleasant sight.
Corn is sometimes called the national emblem. What does emblem mean?
What use is made of oats, barley, rye, and buckwheat? Some of these grains are useful in two or three ways.
There is another grain which we find on almost every table. It is rice. The rice plant, when growing, resembles wheat; but, unlike wheat, it needs a great deal of moisture. So the rice-grower sows it in fields which he can flood or drain at will.
Do you know what people live on rice without any meat at all? Ask your teacher to tell you how rice is raised in China and Japan.
You ought to find something to tell your teacher and classmates about the grains.
Perhaps you would enjoy drawing some of the grains you have seen.
Choose one of the grains, and write what you have learned about it from conversation and observation.