Fruit and Seeds-An Exploration

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Objective

Students will be able to make predictions about the types of plants that come from various seeds by creating a book.

Big Idea

Wow!! So that is what's in that fruit! Students will get the opportunity to learn more about seed diversity in fruits!

Materials and Prep

10 minutes

Materials Needed:

  • Various fruits with seeds cut up so the seeds are showing.  Make sure there is enough for sampling!!  Some possible choices:

                       Watermelon slices
                       Banana slices
                       Kiwi slices
                       Plums, avocado or peaches (some fruit with a large pit)--Just one that can be passed around. 
                       Apples, cut in half
                       Peanuts in the shell**
                       Pea pods  

**Botanically speaking, it is a fruit, since the seeds are contained within a pod, even though that pod develops underground.

                 These are just a few ideas.  Feel free to choose others.

Opening

15 minutes

This lesson is in response to students inquiring about seeds and fruit.  Many of them did not understand that seeds are inside the fruit we eat.  I  The students have a good understanding of how a seed grows into a  plant, but I think they really do not understand where seeds come from.  I was not planning to teach a lesson on fruit and sees, but I sensed there was a need so they could make a connection.

I put some of each fruit on a plate for each student.  I place the plates in front of the students and I say to them, Let's see if you know what is on the plate.  We go through and name each fruit on the plate.  What do you notice about these fruits? That's right.  They have seeds in them.  I circulate around the room and point out the seeds to the students.  They are surprised that the little black spots in the kiwi are seeds.  Many times we eat the seeds of fruit without even knowing it, like with bananas and kiwi.  Sometimes we eat around the seeds like with apples and watermelon.  They are too big for us to eat.  Look at the pit of this avocado.   I pass the avocado around for the students to see the pit.  All of these seeds have the potential to be a new plant.  We would not have new plants without them.

Enjoy your fruit and make sure to notice the seeds.   After you are done eating, we are going to talk some more about seeds (I give the students time to eat and then we move on to the seed exploration. 

Exploration

10 minutes

Materials Needed:

  • A variety of seeds in containers, with the package they came in or a picture showing what the seeds are (see photo). 
  • Handheld magnifiers

 

I tell the students, Now you are going to get the chance to look at a bunch of different seeds.  I want you to look carefully at the seeds.  How are they different?  What is special about them?  How does the size of the seed compare to the size of what it will grow into?  Make sure that you look at all the seeds. 

I give the students time to explore the different seeds.  They pass the cups around their table.  I notice lots of conversation and the students are comparing the different seeds.  After everyone has had a chance to look at the seeds, I collect the cups.  We then prepare for the Independent Practice portion of the lesson. 

Independent Practice and Informal Assessment

15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, you will need What Will This Seed Be student book included as a PDF with this lesson. There are two students books per duplicating master.  Simply use the double staple feature of the coy machine and then slice the book down the middle to create two student books. 

I distribute the books to the students and have them write their names on the front cover.  I say to the students, We know that scientists make predictions based on what they know and information they have collected.  I want you to do the same thing today.  You are going to look at the picture of the seed on each page of the book and make a prediction about what you think the seed might grow into it.  I want you to use what you know to help you make a good prediction.  Some of the seeds we looked at today might help you make a better prediction. 

When you have a prediction made, you will write down that prediction and then draw a picture of what you think the seed will be.  Don't worry about book spelling.  Your sound spelling will be just perfect for this activity.  When you are all done, come and read your book to me.

The students begin working and I circulate around the room to observe their work. See What Will This Seed Be.  This book gives the students the opportunity to communicate basic information, supporting NGSS Science and Engineering Practice 8, Obtaining, Evaluating and Communicating Information.  Click on the following links to see student work: work sample 1  work sample 2   When they complete their book, I have them read their book to me as they complete it.  I have them hang on to the book for our lesson closing. 

Closing

7 minutes

To bring the lesson to a close, I have the students partner up and share their book with another classmate.  I want them to share the predictions like a scientists would and to gain experience reading to a friend.  It is fun to observe the students who have had experience seeing different seeds compared to those who have not.  There were some interesting predictions made.  Background knowledge really comes into play with an activity like this one. 

After the students have had the opportunity to share, I reveal what each seed will become.  Many of the students had correct predictions.  It is obvious that they have drawn from their previous experiences to make their predictions.  I encourage the students to take the books home and share them with their families.