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Plant Parts & Seeds Lesson

Updated on December 8, 2016
Making pictures using seeds
Making pictures using seeds

Go on a seed hunt, act out germination, create seed mosaics, make and eat a plant parts salad, and more in this fun lesson on plants! This is part 1 of a 4 part unit study on Botany and Plants. This lesson is geared toward 2nd-3rd grade level children and their siblings. I created this to do with a weekly homeschool co-op which meets each week for 2 1/2 hours. Use this fun lesson with your classroom, family, after school club, camp, or co-op!

Using a flower and dye to show the importance of stems
Using a flower and dye to show the importance of stems

Introduction

1. Stretch & Pray.

2. Place white carnation or camellia in water generously colored with food dye. (You could also use celery.) Cutting the stems just before placing them in the water will help. (It takes about 2 hours for the dye to show up a little bit in the flower petals if you have very short stems (about 1 inch long). If you use longer stems (about 4-5 inches), it will take about 3 hours. I started soaking the flowers an hour before the class started. When it started, the flowers were still completely white. By the time the class ended, you could see a tinge of color on some of the petals. The longer you leave the flowers in the colored water, the more colorful the flower petals will become.)

YOU WILL NEED PER CHILD OR PER FAMILY: a white flower or celery stalk, a disposable cup, and food dye

3. Read Bible story regarding seeds such as Matthew 7:15-23, 21:18-22, & 12:33-37. We read the parable of the sower. (Show pictures from Bible stories as you read.)

4. Quickly review plant parts.

Book to use for this entire unit on plants & for activity 6

Exploring Creation With Botany (Young Explorer (Apologia Educational Ministries))
Exploring Creation With Botany (Young Explorer (Apologia Educational Ministries))

If you're looking for a textbook to go along this with study, this is a great option! It's written specifically with the elementary school aged child in mind. The text is narrative style as if the author was speaking to the child in a conversational manner. It is written from a Christian perspective. each chapter includes at least one activity/experiment.

 

Seed Parts

5. Read "Oh Can You Say Seed?" by Bonnie Worth or "Seeds! Seeds! Seeds!" by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace.

6. Identify seeds (bean & corn) and look at them under a magnifying glass. Cut them open and observe the parts. Discuss the difference between monocot & dicot seeds. (If you need an idea of what to say, read "Exploring Creation with Botany" by Fullbright ahead of time and reiterate that info to them as you dissect the seeds.)

YOU WILL NEED PER CHILD: a bean (we used lima beans), corn kernel (from frozen vegetables), plastic knife, and magnifying lens

Book to read for activity 5

Seeds! Seeds! Seeds!
Seeds! Seeds! Seeds!

This is perfect for preschoolers or early elementary aged children. A grandparent sends a package full of seed-related items, and the child (Buddy Bear) opens a gift each day and learns something new about seeds. It covers the germination process, plant parts, fun activities to do with seeds, and more.

 
Seed Scavenger Hunt
Seed Scavenger Hunt

Collecting Seeds

7. If weather permits, go outside to collect seeds. Study seeds: shape, size, texture, etc.

Germination

8. Read "One Bean" by Anne Rockwell.

Book to read for activity 8

One Bean
One Bean

This is the best book I have seen on germination! It has wonderful illustrations that keep the attention of toddlers and older children, and it provides plenty of factual information in a storybook format.

 
Acting out germination
Acting out germination

9. Act out Germination ("a seed waking up"):

Have each child get 2 construction paper leaves and a piece of candy and then have them crawl head first into a sleeping bag. (The children are dormant seeds. The sleeping bag is the testa/seed coat.)First the testa (seed coat) splits and the radicle (embryonic root) emerges. (Have the children stick their legs out of the sleeping bag.)The hypocotyl (embryonic stem) and epicotyl go straight up through the dirt. (Have the children stand up. Tell them that their legs are the radicles/roots, their bodies are the hypocotyls/stems, and their hands are the epicotyls, which are holding the green construction paper cotyledons/seed leaves.)Meanwhile, in some sorts of seeds, the seed gets its nutrients from the endosperm (stored food). The stored food is mainly sugar. (Have the children eat their piece of candy.)The cotyledons (seed leaves) emerge. (Have the children stick out the 2 construction paper leaves from out of the sleep bag.)The testa/seed coat falls off and the plant grows as the taproot shoots down and the epicotyl straightens. Have the children stand up all the way and allow the sleeping bag to fall off from the tops of their heads.YOU WILL NEED PER CHILD: 2 construction paper or real leaves, a sleeping bag, and a piece of candy

10. (If you have extra time) Color or draw the stages of the germination of a seed.

YOU WILL NEED PER CHILD: (per child) a sheet with germination illustrated or a blank paper sheets pre-cut and crayons

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Looking at the back of a seed packet
Looking at the back of a seed packet

Seeds for a Garden

11. Read "How Groundhog's Garden Grew" by Lynne Cherry.

12. Look at backs of seed packets and what the information means.

YOU WILL NEED: seed packets

13. Talk about faith of a mustard seed (Mt. 13). Pass out mustard seeds & compare with other seeds. Plant them in soil. Talk about planting seeds & sharing God's word (Is. 55:11). Guess (Hypothesize) which seed will sprout the fastest.

YOU WILL NEED PER CHILD: mustard seed & other seeds

Book to read for activity 11

How Groundhog's Garden Grew
How Groundhog's Garden Grew

Various animals explain to Groundhog what he needs to do to grow his own garden. This is a cute story with plenty of educational information sprinkled in to make it a delightful book to read. The illustrations are also beautiful.

 
Making seed mosiacs
Making seed mosiacs

Seed Mosaics

14. Look at pictures of mosaics. Make a mosaic picture using dried black beans, white navy beans, pinto beans &/or dried split peas. You can do this in a shorter amount of time if you give each child 1/4 sheet of paper. *For young children we found it best to make a simple outline for them in glue and then to allow them to place the beans over the glue pattern.

YOU WILL NEED: dried black beans, white navy beans, pinto beans, and/or dried split peas, glue (tacky glue works best), and cardstock or other heavy paper (such as a piece of cardboard from a cereal box)

Talking about roots
Talking about roots

Roots

15. If weather permits, go outside and pull up weeds and study using magnifying glasses. If weather isn't permitting, tell the children to bring a weed with its roots from home. Talk about being rooted in the word.

YOU WILL NEED: magnifying lenses and plants with their roots

Plant parts salad
Plant parts salad

Plant Parts Salad & Review

16. Make a salad out of various plant parts: First make poppy seed dressing using 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 2 teaspoons diced onions (or dried), 1 teaspoon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2/3 cup oil, and 1 tablespoon poppy seeds. Salad will have dressing with poppy seeds (seeds), lettuce (leaves), celery or asparagus (stalk), tomato or diced apple or other sliced fruit (fruit), & carrots (roots). Ask children to match plant parts to vegetables & then carefully chop vegetables. Eat salad.

YOU WILL NEED: measuring spoons, liquid measuring cup, jar with lid, large bowl, plastic forks, disposable plates, cups for water, napkins, knives and cutting boards, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 2 teaspoons diced onions (or dried), 1 teaspoon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2/3 cup oil, 1 tablespoon poppy seeds, lettuce, celery or asparagus, tomato or diced apple or other sliced fruit, & carrots

17. Look at flower or celery (from activity 2) and discuss what occurred. Let each child or family take 1 flower home.

18. (If you have extra time), find plants outside, identify parts, mount on cardstock, and cover with contact paper.

19. Review what we learned.

Watching seeds germinate - We used bean plants and pumpkin seeds.
Watching seeds germinate - We used bean plants and pumpkin seeds.

Homework: Growing a Bean Plant

Send children home with a bag of dried beans. Tell them to put them in wet paper towels in a bag or clear plastic cup. Keep the paper towels wet and tell us next week at co-op what you saw happen.

Germination of a Seed in 30 Seconds

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Oh Say Can You Seed?: All About Flowering Plants (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library) by Bonnie Worth - Book images are from amazon.com.What Kinds of Seeds Are These? by Heidi Bee RoemerFlip, Float, Fly: Seeds on the Move by JoAnn Early MackenWho Will Plant a Tree? by Jerry PallottaA Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Aston
Oh Say Can You Seed?: All About Flowering Plants (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library) by Bonnie Worth - Book images are from amazon.com.
Oh Say Can You Seed?: All About Flowering Plants (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library) by Bonnie Worth - Book images are from amazon.com.
What Kinds of Seeds Are These? by Heidi Bee Roemer
What Kinds of Seeds Are These? by Heidi Bee Roemer
Flip, Float, Fly: Seeds on the Move by JoAnn Early Macken
Flip, Float, Fly: Seeds on the Move by JoAnn Early Macken
Who Will Plant a Tree? by Jerry Pallotta
Who Will Plant a Tree? by Jerry Pallotta
A Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Aston
A Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Aston

More of our favorite books on seeds

Oh Say Can You Seed?: All About Flowering Plants (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library) by Bonnie Worth is written in the rhyming Cat-in-the-Hat manner and includes a great overview of botany! What Kinds of Seeds Are These? by Heidi Bee Roemer is another fun picture book on seeds that is good for young children. Flip, Float, Fly: Seeds on the Move by JoAnn Early Macken and Who Will Plant a Tree? by Jerry Pallotta are both fun picture books on seed dispersal. They are simple with nice illustrations and are ideal for preschool and early elementary-aged children! A Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Aston has gorgeous illustrations and includes lots of fun tidbits about various seeds.

Watch Seed Dispersal

Vascular Plants from Crash Course Biology

Ready for the next lesson?

Observing parts of a flower from and activity found in Part 2: Flowers Lesson
Observing parts of a flower from and activity found in Part 2: Flowers Lesson

Go on a seed hunt, act out germination, create seed mosaics, make and eat a plant parts salad, dissect a flower, decorate sunflower cookies, compete in a photosynthesis relay race, got on a plant scavenger hunt, and more during this fun four part unit study on Botany and Plants!

  • Plant Parts & Seeds Lesson - This is part 1 of a 4 part unit study on Botany and Plants. Go on a seed hunt, act out germination, create seed mosaics, make and eat a plant parts salad, and more in this fun lesson on plants!
  • Flowers Lesson - Go on a flower hunt, dissect a flower, create edible flowers, paint flowers, and more in this fun lesson on flowers! This is part 2 of a 4 part unit study on Botany and Plants.
  • Bee & Honey Lesson - This is part 3 of a 4 part unit study on Botany and Plants. (This lesson is optional if you need to squeeze this unit into 3 parts rather than 4.) Dance like a bee, make edible bees using honey balls, use cheese puff balls and and juice boxes to dramatize pollination, create pipe cleaner bees and have them fly to the tune of Flight of the Bumblebee, and more!
  • Trees & Leaves Lesson - This is part 4 of a 4 part unit study on Botany and Plants. Play a photosynthesis relay race, create an edible leaf structure, act out the parts of a tree, examine and classify tree leaves and use them to identify trees, and more in this fun, hands-on lesson on leaves and trees!
  • Botany Scavenger Hunt & Field Trip Ideas - This is the culminating activity we did after a 4 week hands-on unit study on botany/plants. Children went on a fun-filled scavenger hunt for a variety of plants, and afterward had a plant-themed picnic lunch. Also included are the field trips we went on while studying this unit on botany and plants.

Looking for all of my unit studies and lesson plans?

Over the years I have posted over 30 science and social-studies based unit studies, compromised of more than 140 lessons. For each lesson I have included activities (with photos), our favorite books and YouTube video clips, lapbook links, and other resources. I posted links to all of my unit studies and lessons at Fun, FREE Hands-on Unit Studies .

Konos Volume I
Konos Volume I

Konos Curriculum

Would you like to teach this way every day?

Konos Curriculum

I use Konos Curriculum as a springboard from which to plan my lessons. It's a wonderful Christian curriculum and was created by moms with active children!

Konos Home School Mentor

If you're new to homeschooling or in need of some fresh guidance, I highly recommend Konos' HomeSchoolMentor.com program! Watch videos on-line of what to do each day and how to teach it in this great hands-on format!

© 2011 iijuan12

Comments, Questions, or Ideas? - Let me know you dropped by! Was this lens helpful? Do you have any questions, comments, or additional ideas? Please post here!

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    • iijuan12 profile image
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      iijuan12 2 years ago from Florida

      Thank you so much for the sweet comment! If you're ever in North Florida, let me know! :)

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      JefflovesDebbyWuttke 2 years ago

      I just want to thank you so much for creating and sharing these lesson plans. I'm sure they are quite a lot of work to put together. I don't know how you do it.

      I was thinking to myself as I read this post that it sure would be nice to meet you sometime! Your creativity would be contagious I'm sure. It's apparent you have a love for teaching.

      Gods blessings, Deborah

    • iijuan12 profile image
      Author

      iijuan12 5 years ago from Florida

      @JoyfulPamela2: Thank you!

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Love these fun ideas!

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      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Very creative ... love this part of the lesson plan: * Please bring one sleeping bag per child.*

    • Maritimer LM profile image

      Maritimer LM 5 years ago

      I read the Little Farm by the Sea by Kay Chorao to my grandson. He loved it!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I love your seed mosaic picture. So cool! I remember we made a mosaic in 4H shaped like our state. Linking this to my Plant Worksheets lens! Thanks for the good information.

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 6 years ago

      wow! great looking lens! kudos!

    • HeatherTodd1 profile image

      HeatherTodd1 6 years ago

      Thanks for the Great article!

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      What lovely ideas. I love the hands-on learning style.

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 6 years ago

      Great info and love your ideas!