- two houseplants, preferably ones that look different
- two kinds of seeds (use two that you will feature in the Seed Museum learning center)
- fresh pea pods
- dry kidney or lima beans
Key Science Concepts
- Plants grow from seeds.
During your conversations, introduce the plant terms seed, bean, pea pod, plant, leaf, and stem. Use science process words such as observe, compare, contrast, examine, and describe.
Introduce Plants and Seeds
Tell children that they will be exploring plants for the next three weeks. During this first week, you’ll be looking closely at seeds and what happens when you plant them.
- Show them the two houseplants and ask them to share what they know about plants. How are these plants the same? How are they different? What are some of the different parts of a plant? (Leaves and stems, for example.) Do you have any houseplants at home?
- Show them the two kinds of seeds and ask the children what they know about seeds. Ask, Where do you think these come from? What do you think would happen if we planted these seeds?
- Hand each child a pea pod. Ask, What do you think these are? What do you notice? What’s inside the pea pod? Encourage children to open the pods, look closely at how the peas are lined up, and notice how they are connected to the pod. Invite them to count the peas in their pod. Tell them that these are seeds, too. Have children taste a pea. Tell them that some seeds, like these, are safe to eat. Other seeds are not. Remind them to always ask an adult whether they can taste a seed.
- Explain that these young peas are not ready to be planted. They need to be dry in order to plant them. Pass around some of the dry beans—the same kind that you will plant later today. Tell children that these are seeds too, but that they are not to be eaten.
Reflect and Share
Have them compare the look and feel of the dry beans and fresh peas. Ask,
- What differences do you notice between the dry beans and fresh peas? What is similar about them?
- What other kinds of seeds have you seen before? What were those seeds like?
Later, during free exploration time, show children the seeds you have displayed in the Seed Museum learning center. Have them add the dry beans to the Museum.