Seeds, Seeds and More Seeds

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SWBAT explore different seeds and identify that seeds are baby plants.

Big Idea

Seeds, seeds and more seeds! In this lesson we dissect, graph, plant and explore seeds!

Setting the Stage:

National Science Education Science Standards Connection:

The National Science Education Standards has said that making observations is key to inquiry-based and discovery-focused learning in science instruction. In order to do this students participate in inquiry-based learning that allows them to solve a problem in science through observation, discourse and using a science journal. Students will then be give a chance to share their findings with their peers and then reflect on their own understanding.

Next Generation Science Standards Connection:

In this unit my students learn that plants can reproduce and have behaviors that help their seeds to grow and survive.  They observe the similarities and differences between adult plants and their offspring and record their evidence in their science journals. They also will identify that plants have external parts that help them survive in nature and then use that information to help them solve a human problem by mimicking plants. This is called Biomimicry - bio: life, mimicry - to copy. To learn more about Biomimicry check out this Ted Talks.

In this next four lessons my students will plant a variety of seeds in order to determine that young plants are like their parents.  In this lesson my students get to explore seeds and identify that seeds come in different shapes, color and sizes. They will learn that all plants come from seeds and as they grow they will resemble their parent. 

*In the elaborate section of this lesson my students each plant a pea seed in a zip-lock bag. Each week for 4 weeks my students observe their pea plant growing.  We take our zip-lock bags off of the window twice each week for observations. My students measure and record their findings in their Seed Journal.

Classroom Structures:

In order to support a high level of student discourse within my science lessons I have assigned two different student partnerships.  Turn and Talk Partners are discourse partners that work together to share the deep thinking that happens throughout the day.  Workshop Partners are partners who are matched together for the purpose of working during our independent times.  In this lesson students will be engaged in both partnerships.

Vocabulary Cards:

These cards include the vocabulary that it important for this unit on plant life.  The standards covered by this unit are 1-LS1-1, 1-LS1-2, 1-LS3-1. You can choose to use these cards in different ways. I like to print all vocabulary words on card stock and hang them on my science bulletin board as a reference tool throughout the unit. You can also use these cards as flashcards or a concentration matching game.


KLEWS - How do plants survive and grow?

Seed to Plant Matching Game

The Seed Sort Graph - editable

The Seed Sort Graph

Bird seed or seed variety

Seed Journal: I just use blank paper in my journals so my students have space and freedom to experiment with graphic organizers, illustrations, etc.

Magnifying Glass

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle

zip-lock bags (class set)

paper towel (class set folded in half)

Pea seeds or bean seeds - Zip lock bag and seeds


Permanent marker

Science Journals:  I just use blank paper in my journals so my students have space and freedom to experiment with graphic organizers, illustrations, etc.

Science Journal Prompt: What do you know about seeds?


10 minutes

A KLEWS anchor chart is described as a tool that allows students to track their learning throughout an investigation, building up to the understanding of a scientific principle. Our KLEWS chart will track the learning about the plants for our next lessons.

Boys and girls, let's look at our KLEWS chart. Let's reread our over-arching question: What are the structures of plant and how do they help plants grow? 

In our last lesson we discovered that plants in spring look very different than plants in other months. We also wrote down all of these great wonderings!

I am wondering how can we eat seeds?

I wonder how seeds grow?

I wonder what happens to plants in the winter?

Where do plant go in the winter?

How do plants get seeds?

Today we are going to investigate seeds.  We are going to investigate these questions: What are seeds? Where do seeds come from? 

Seed to Plant Matching Game: Next, we play a matching game as a whole group.  I print two copies of the Seed-to-Plant Matching game, one for the answer sheet and one to cut apart and use for my game. I start by showing my students the pictures of different seeds: flowers, tree, veggies, bulbs, fruit, etc. Then I show them the plants that go with each seed.  My students try to guess what seed goes with what plant.  After a brief conversation, my students try to match the seed with the plant.  I show them the answer sheet and we check the answers together. 


15 minutes

The standard addressed in this unit requires students identify that plants reproduce.  In this lesson my students get to observe and collect data about the different color, shape and size of seeds. The NGSS asks that students participate in planning and carrying out investigations, this lesson allows students to carry out an investigation observing and sorting different seeds.

Boys and girls today you are going to investigate a bunch of different seeds.  All the plants that we saw earlier come from seeds.  Guess what?  All plants come from seeds and today you are going to observe a bunch of different seeds.

I place some seeds under the document camera and allow my students to observe these seeds.  We talk about the different seeds.  I tell them some seeds are called Tag-Alongs and explain that those seeds have special parts that allow them to connect to things.  We sort out the seeds that would be good at that. I then tell them that some seeds are called bulbs and bulbs are flowers that come back each year.

For this section my students observe, sort and graph different seeds. I give each partnership a handful of seeds, a blank sheet of paper on a tray. I ask my students to spend time observing these seeds.  I listen in on conversations and here things like, This seed is so big but this one is so tiny.  It is so small. As my students explore the seeds they talk about size, color and shape.

The NGSS asks that students participate in using mathematics and computational thinking. I ask my students to explore these different seeds and sort them into groups. As they are sorting I ask questions like, Are all seeds the same? Why are seeds different?  What do you notice about these seeds? 

I refer my students to our KLEWS chart and under "Evidence" I write, "Some can be really big, small, round, oval, pointy, sharp, brown, white, green, gray and black."

GRAPHING: The Common Core State Standards for grade 1 asks that students organize, represent, and interpret data as well as answer questions about that data.  I pass out our Seed Graphs and ask my students to graph their findings. 

After completing the graphs, we take a few moments to share our evidence. Then we refer back to our KLEWS chart and under "Learning" I write, "Seeds come in different colors, shapes and sizes."


10 minutes

The Common Core Standards for English Language Arts asks that students ask and answer questions about key details in a text as well as explain major differences between books that tell stories and books that give information, drawing on a wide reading of a range of text types. During and after our read aloud we have discussions that allow my students to learn from both illustrations and words. We pull out information that is factual and information that is made up by the author. In our discussion we refer back to the book to help answer questions about its key details and the author's message.

I read the book: The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle.

I ask my students questions like:

*How does the seed change?

*What does the weather need to be like for a seed to grow? What season?

*What do you think happens to the seed? How does it change?


20 minutes

I believe that my students learn science best by doing science so for this section we are planting pea seeds using a zip-lock bag, paper towel, staples and water.  These bags are then taped into our window and we observe their growth over a 4-week timeline.  The NGSS asks that students obtain, evaluate, and communicate information so we observe and record these observations in our Seed Journals 2-3 times each week.

I pass out magnifying glasses and ask my students to observe their seed and record their observation in their science journal.

Observing Seed

Observing Seed

Journal Entry 1

Journal Entry 2

Journal Entry 3

Journal Entry 4

How to plant seeds in a zip-lock bag:

Step 1: I give each child a zip-lock and write their name with a permanent marker.

Step 2: I give each child a dry piece of paper towel folded in half and have them place it in the zip-lock bag.

Step 3: I pour the water in the bags - just enough to moisten the paper towel. I make sure the paper towel is not dripping because this can cause the pea to mold.

Step 4: Place a row of staples through the middle of the zip-lock bag. - Zip lock bag and seeds

Step 5: Allow each child to place a dry bean on top of the staples and seal the bag.

Before moving onto Step 6, my students record their seed again and this time predict how long it will take to start growing.

Journal Entry - Part 2

Journal Entry - Part 2

Journal Entry - Part 2

Step 6: Tape each bag to a window or a wall that gets the most sunlight.

Step 7: The seeds will begin to germinate in 3-6 days.

Step 8: When the students take their seeds down to observe have them moisten the paper towels if they seem dry.  I like to have my students to use medicine droppers.

Step 9: These seeds can be placed in a garden after 1.5 to 2 weeks

Throughout the growing process I have my students measure, observe and record seed growth in their Seed Journals.


15 minutes

The Science and Engineering Practice 4 asks students to analyze data. At the K-2 level this involves students collecting, recording, and sharing observations. In this lesson the students are recording information, thoughts and ideas in their science journals. I send my students back to their science journals and ask them to write and draw the answer to our big question: "What do you know about seeds?"

My students answer vary but I am looking for answers with the following big ideas, Seeds are baby plants that have not begun to grow.  Seeds grow into fruit, veggies, trees, flowers. All plants come from seeds.