Seeds Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Julie Zundel

Julie has taught high school Zoology, Biology, Physical Science and Chem Tech. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Education.

Most students know what a fruit is, but how much do they know about seeds inside of fruit? This lesson plan teaches students the basics about seeds and then lets them design an experiment to test a variable that impacts germination.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Label and describe the following: seed coat, cotyledon, and embryo.
  • Discuss factors that influence germination.
  • Describe what takes place during germination.

Length

  • Class lesson: 100 minutes
  • Experiment needs to be monitored between 5 and 10 days depending on the seeds used.

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.4

Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.5

Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.5

With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 4 here.)

Materials

  • Several fruits and vegetables (whatever is available)
  • Alfalfa seeds or sunflower seeds (these can be purchased at grocery stores)
  • Paper towels
  • Water
  • Ziplocs
  • Printer paper
  • Access to Germination of Seeds Lesson for Kids
  • Germinated alfalfa seeds or sunflower seeds
    • Place several seeds between moist paper towels and place the bundle in a Ziploc. Leave about an inch open in the Ziploc
      • Alfalfa seeds will take 2 to 5 days to germinate
      • Sunflower seeds will take 7 to 10 days
  • Magnifying glass or dissection scopes
  • Possible items needed for experiment includes measuring tool (ruler), chemical (like Windex) and/or refrigerator.
  • Copies of the lesson quiz, one per student.

Instructions

  • Begin the class by placing several fruits and vegetables at the front of the room and ask students to help you classify them.
  • On the board, write several ideas (color, size, taste, etc.)
  • Eventually, lead students in the direction of fruits vs. vegetables and see if students know the difference.
  • As a class, attempt to classify the foods into fruits and vegetables and then come up with the difference between the two.
  • Eventually, explain that fruits have seeds within them.
  • Ask students what they know about seeds and have each student write down one thing.
  • Briefly, have students share their one seed fact with a partner.

Video: Part 1

  • Have each student fold a piece of printer paper into four sections (like an accordion). Label the top of each section with the following vocabulary terms: seed coat, cotyledon, embryo, and germination.
  • Begin the video Germination of Seeds Lesson for Kids, stopping at each vocabulary term to have students write down the definition and draw an image to help them remember the term.
    • Seed coat (0.:52)
    • Cotyledon (1:04)
    • Embryo (1:22)

Activity 1:

  • Hand each group a germinated alfalfa seed or sunflower seed and have students observe the seed coat, cotyledon, and embryo (or where the embryo would have been) with microscopes or dissection scopes.
  • Students should draw each piece in their notes in the appropriate section.

Video Part 2

  • Resume the video, pausing at 1:48 for the germination vocabulary term as well as the following places to add to the germination section:
    • Dormancy (1:58)
    • Temperature (2:04)
    • Acids (2:11)
  • Complete the video, including the lesson summary.

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