Flannel Friday: Popcorn Kernels Math Makeover


I copied this awesome flannel from Mel’s Desk a few years ago and it has been a staple in my storytimes ever since! It’s super fun as is, but when a patron recently dropped off a tin of holiday popcorn, I just knew I had to revisit this flannel add some more flavors.


I cooked up some caramel, butter and cheddar flavored felt popcorn. In addition to including more types of popcorn, I made a few other early math tweaks. I made 12 kernels so we have lots of counting options and resized my popcorn pieces. Some pieces are big, some pieces are small, and some are in between.

So many exciting new math talk opportunities await! Here’s some examples:

  • How many kernels are there?
  • How many pieces of popcorn do you think we’ll get when we cook the kernels? Why?
  • We had five kernels and one went pop. Now how many kernels do we have left?
  • Do we have MORE kernels or MORE popcorn? How can you tell?
  • How are these popcorn pieces the SAME?
  • How are they DIFFERENT?
  • What kind of popcorn do we have the MOST of?
  • What kind of popcorn do we have the LEAST of?
  • How many pieces of popcorn should I eat if I’m REALLY hungry?
  • How many pieces should I eat if I’m just a LITTLE hungry?
  • What if I wanted to share with a friend? How could we SHARE the popcorn between two of us so it’s FAIR?
  • Which piece is the BIGGEST?
  • Which piece is the SMALLEST?

If we had a small enough group, we could even do some graphing and compare our favorite flavors!


Here is Melissa’s original rhyme. The kids love clapping when a kernel pops!

Five Little Kernels

Five little kernels sizzling in the pot

All of a sudden, one went POP!

…Four little kernels, three little kernels, etc.


You could also shake things up and pop more than one kernel at a time!

Here’s another quick and easy rhyme. I plan to use this one when I want to focus on comparing the popcorn groups:

Five Little Kernels in a Popcorn Bag

5 little kernels in a popcorn bag pressed.

One grew, two grew, so did all the rest.

They grew and they grew and they did not stop

Until that microwave bag went pop!


Want to make your own? Here’s the template:


What are your favorite food-themed flannels? Would love to learn more in the comments below!

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