Summer Nature Activity: Comparing Seeds
Children choose from a variety of seeds and watch them grow!
- Grades: PreK–K
Children will develop science skills that encourage observation, prediction, problem solving, and formulating conclusions as they learn about the things seeds need to grow.
- chart paper and markers
- several jars or clear plastic cups
- different plant food items (to be determined by the children)
- plant seeds (corresponding to the food items)
- plastic spoons
- watering can
1. During meeting time, ask children to share what they know about how seeds grow. Use chart paper to record their responses. Invite children to think of different types of foods they have eaten that have seeds inside of them. To assist them, use chart paper to create a list of foods that have seeds. Have children ever planted any of these seeds? Can they grow plants from the seeds in these foods?
2. Explain to children that they will have the opportunity to be scientists and study different kinds of seeds. They will study seeds that come from within foods and seeds that can be bought at a store and used for planting. Ask children to predict which seeds will grow. Record their predictions.
3. Ask children to make a list of materials they will need to do their seed experiments. Gather the materials, foods, and store-bought seeds. Assist children in cutting the foods and separating the seeds.
4. Label plastic cups to indicate which type of seed will be placed in each. Use one marker color to distinguish seeds that are taken directly from food sources and another color to distinguish the store-bought seeds. Provide children with plastic spoons and soil. Invite children to plant each type of seed in a plastic cup. Have them place their plants in a sunny area of the classroom or outdoor-play space. Include children in preparing a schedule for caring for and observing their plants. Children's observations can be recorded through drawings, dictations, graphing, and photography.
5. Encourage children to make predictions about the growth of their plants. Ask: How long do you think it will take your plant to grow? What will your plant look like when it sprouts? When it is fully grown? Record children's predictions. When the study has been completed, ask children to describe what they have learned. Record their conclusions on chart paper. Compare their predictions and conclusions.
For younger children: Bring in a variety of fruits and vegetables that you can cut up to help children explore the seeds inside. Before exposing the seeds, let children guess what the seeds might look like. Then, expose the seeds so children can test their predictions.
For older children: Try reversing the activity. Take children on a field trip to a farm or garden center. As children explore mature plants, see if they can recall what the seeds of these plants looked like.
Read the folktale Johnny Appleseed by Eva Moore. Provide children with paper and drawing materials. Invite them to create their own folktale about how a different fruit or vegetable came to be.