Lesson Plan

Corn Husk Dolls

corn husks
Enslaved children made toys from discarded materials like corn husks.

Overall Rating

Add your review
Grade Level:
Third Grade-Fifth Grade
African American History and Culture, Agriculture, Art, History, Slavery, Social Studies
30 Minutes
Group Size:
Up to 36
National/State Standards:
VA.A.1.2.1, VA.A.1.2.2, VA.A.1.2.4, VA.C.1.2.1
corn husk, Slavery


Students will learn how to make a corn husk doll, and then compare the toys they have with toys that children of the 19th century played with (and often made) as a daily life comparison.


This activity will show students how to make a toy from corn husks, a common item that today we often throw away. Corn was grown at Kingsley Plantation, and while it was used for food, other parts of the plant were useful too. Children back then would have had as much fun using their imaginations to make their toys as they did when playing with them!


 This worksheet guides students through the doll making craft.  


Park Connections

This lesson can be used before or after a class trip to Kingsley Plantation.  Call 904.251.3537 to schedule your field trip. 

Additional Resources

Ideas for this project taken from: Lauri Carlson, EcoArt! (Charlotte, Vermont: Williamson Publishing, 1993).  and http://www.teachersfirst.com/summer/cornhusk.htm


compare, contrast, slavery

Last updated: April 14, 2015