The Seed

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SWBAT gain the knowledge of the seed parts and how a plant develops out of the seed.

Big Idea

The students will explore the inside of a seed, learn the scientific names of each part, and create a model of a seed.

Setting the Stage

1 minutes

Materials:  kidney beans (soaked over night), magnifying glasses, oaktag, crayons.

The students will explore the inside of a bean and learn the parts of the interior.  After exploring a real bean, the students will create their own model of a bean and label each part.

It is important for students to understand the inside of the seed because it is where reproduction of the new plant begins.  Students need to understand that the new plant starts inside the seed and sprouts out from there.  This is the 1st step in the plant working as a system to continue survival of the species.   

Our district expects students to understand that a plant is a system that goes through a natural cycle and the parts help the plant reproduce.


Students demonstrate their understanding of Reproduction by…

  • Drawing and labeling the stages of development in the life of a familiar plant.



5 minutes

The students gather on the carpet and face the Smart Board.  I start this lesson with a quick introduction and a video to help explain the focus of the unit.  

"We are going to start a new unit today.  Our focus will be plants, the parts of a plant, and how a plant goes from a seed to producing a seed again.  This is called the life cycle of a plant.  During our study, you will learn about each part of a plant and how it helps the plant get the things that it needs to survive and reproduce."

"I want to start with looking at the word lifecycle.  What does this mean?"

I solicit answers and then guide the discussion to come up with the definition of:  the series of changes in the life of a plant (in this case).  

"Before we continue on, I would like you to take a look at this video."

As the video is playing, I will start and stop the video and discuss the names of the parts and point them out to the students.

I am showing this video to get the students thinking about how plants grow and that they go through a cycle as the mature and reproduce a seed of its own.  


15 minutes

Advanced Preparation:  Take the beans out of water (soaked over night) and pat them dry.  The soaked beans will be easier for the students to split with their hands.  Each team of two will need one soaked bean and a non-soaked bean.  

"Today we are going to look at the inside of a bean seed.  Before you actually investigate your own bean, I would like to start by looking at this diagram of the inside of a bean."

I display the diagram on the Smart board and hand them each a copy of the handout.  I guide them through the different parts.  As a class, we find and label the food storage, seed coat, and embryo (little plant).

Once we are finished, I hand each student a copy of Handout 2.

"I am going to give each of you two different bean seeds. One has been soaked in water over night and one has not.  I want you to start with the one that has not been soaked.  You will use the dry seed to answer the 1st two questions.  Then you will use both seeds to answer question 3 and the soaked seed to answer the last two questions."

As students are working, I circulate to make sure they are clear on each question and to talk to them about what they see inside the split open seed.

"I will also put out a few magnifying glasses for you to use as you observe the seeds."




10 minutes

I gather the students on the carpet for science circle. I have them bring their handout 2 recording sheets.

"I want to discuss the answers that you got for questions 3, 4, & 5."

I start with 3 and allow students to respond to how they answered each question.  These questions are open ended (in a sense) and will elicit a variety of responses and/or opinions. I want to make sure that the idea that there is a tiny plant with a food supply in each seed.



10 minutes

I give the students each two copies of handout 3.  This should be pre-copied on oaktag.  I have included a video of the introduction to this activity.  

"You will cut out the bean shape on each oaktag piece.  You will then tape the bean together on one side (see video example) and use your diagram (from the start of the lesson) to draw and label the inside of the bean.  Then you can color the outside of the bean too."

"Once you are done, I want you to staple the bean into your science notebooks."


1 minutes

I will look through each students created beans to make sure that they have all of the parts and that they are correctly labeled.  I want to check back that each student met the expectation of understanding the parts of the seed.