Workshop: Journey to the Center of a Seed
Age range: grades K-4
Time: 30-45 minutes
Materials: a variety of seeds, lima bean seeds (about 2 per child), small envelopes to store seed mixtures for individual groups
Preparation: Gather a mixture of seeds of different colors, textures, and sizes. Large seeds like beans, corn, peas, and squash are easiest for young students to handle.
Activity 1: Seed Sorting
Give each pair or small group of students 10-15 assorted seeds. Ask each group to discuss how they are alike and how they’re different. Sort seeds into groups according to the way they look.
Have students fill out worksheet.
Activity 2: Game
One student thinks of and describes a particular seed to the other students, who must carefully observe and guess which seed is being described. Or, with an older group of students, have the students ask yes or no questions to the student about the description of their chosen seed.
Activity 3: The inside of a seed
Ask the children these questions: How do you think these seeds with different outsides look inside? What do you think you might find inside a seed?
Drawing: Give each student a lima bean seed and ask them to draw a picture of what they predict it looks like.
After, give each student a split lima bean and ask them to draw a picture of the inside of the seeds. Ask: How does what you see inside the seed compare to your original prediction? Does any part of the inside of the seed look like a familiar plant part? Do you think the seed is alive? Why or why not?
Activity 4: Planting seeds
Utilize the educational garden space for students to plant seeds.
Activity 5: Observation over time (optional)
Give students lima beans to take home and place in water to observe over the course of a week.