Harvesting Seeds in the Classroom
We planted seeds, pollinated them, and then harvested new seeds in my classroom this year. My students were thrilled when they saw the new baby seeds in the bean pods! This is project based learning that students will never forget!
We started each lesson by ‘digging’ into our plants text through close reading and note taking. The students were so engaged with the articles because it was meaningful to them since we had just planted our seeds. They wanted to learn how to make sure their seeds would grow. We started reading about germination and roots. Then, the students did a fun science project with Lima beans and we learned about the parts of a seed.
Next we ‘dug’ into plants deeper as we learned about the stem, through another close read. Students loved closely reading this text because they got to work in partners to code the text and find new plant vocabulary words. I pulled out the celery stems I had soaked in colored water from the day before to show the class exactly how stems work. They wrote 2 observations they made about the colored celery.
Next, we studied leaves and learned all about chlorophyll. The students loved rubbing leaves on the paper to see the chlorophyll in the leaves (I used spinach leaves for the rubbing because the results are better). Then, students wrote what happened when they rubbed the leaves on the paper.
After students independently read a text about the plant’s flower, they got to dissect one in class. They enjoyed finding the pistil and the stamen. They also drew and labeled their flowers.
We also learned all about pollination. Once our flowers bloomed in class we pollinated them using our bee sticks. The students absolutely LOVED this!
The students’ couldn’t believe it when we opened our bean pods, days later, and found the new baby seeds inside. Each student was able to harvest the seeds from their bean pods. Then they drew the plant life cycle and wrote about it.
Once the plant life cycle was complete, my students used their notes from each close read along with learning from their hands-on science experiences to write a nonfiction flip-up book about the parts of the plant. Their writing was simply amazing! Their learning was authentic and meaningful and it really showed in their writing. They were so excited to be able to share their new knowledge about plants.
Want to know how we did it? Check out our Life Cycle of a Plant Unit
on TPT. It includes detailed instructions on how to grow, pollinate, and harvest seeds in your classroom. It also comes with leveled text for your students to read and detailed lessons on how to get them to close read and research independently.