The seed coat provides a protective covering for the tiny plant, called an embryo, that lives in the seed. The embryo contains the beginnings of the leaves, stem, and root system.
Inside the seed are the cotyledons which provide stored food to the embryo until the leaves and roots are established.
As seedlings emerge from the soil, the cotyledons appear as "seed leaves" that wither when true leaves develop.  Monocots are plants that develop from a single cotyledon seed. (example grass) and dicots are plants that develop from two cotyledons.
Once the roots, stem and leaves are established the plant can begin to work on producing flowers and ultimately a new batch of seeds.

Sprouting Seeds Project

What you will need:  radish, bean, pea, and corn seeds, potting soil, paper towel, clear plastic cups, and a plastic sanwich bag. 

Place 8 seeds on a damp paper towel, put the seeds and paper towel carefully in a plastic sandwich bag. After seven days, observe, compare, and record the root length, root thickness, and number of root hairs using a hand lens.
Wrap a paper towel around the inside of the cup so that seeds are visible.  Place another cup inside the first cup to hold the seeds in place.  Be sure the towel is moist and the cup is in a warm place. After seven days, observe, compare, and record the root length, root thickness, and number of root hairs using a hand lens.
  Place seeds against the sides of a clear cup filled with potting soil. After seven days, observe, compare, and record the root length, root thickness, and number of root hairs using a hand lens.
  sprout jar activity

Take a jar and put seeds(alphalfa or mung) and water in the jar.  Put a cheesecloth folded twice on the top of the jar.  Put a rubber band onr  the top of the jar to hold the cheesecloth.  Empty the water each day by turning the jar upside down.  Do not take the cheese cloth off.  Fill the jar with fresh water each day.  After three to four days the seeds will sprout.  Put the jar in the sun to green the sprouts.  Take the sprouts out and taste them.

Shoots and Roots

Seed Germination:


Develop an understanding of seed germination.  Children develop the skill of making predicitions about seeds and their growth from observation.  Their predictions are based upon specific activities.


The children are shown a seed planted in a pot of soil and a seedling.  They are asked to tell what they think happens to a seed between the time it is planted and the time it is germinated.
Their ideas are written on the board.

The seeds(pre-soaked beans or peas) are planted in a plastic bag instead of a pot and soil.  A moist paper towel is put in the bag.  The children observe the seeds.  Some seeds peel off their outer coats in a few days.  The children are encouraged to predict what will happen the seeds in a few more days.  The seeds are observed after several days.  Children share what they see and note that the seeds germinate.

Another method of observation can be done by taking out one seed each day and soaking it in alcohol, glue the seed on a board, and noting the progress of germination.

Assessment:  Discussing what the children learned about germination.



Ask questions about moisture and its effect on seeds.  Ask questions about the nature of a seed.  What is inside a seed?  What does a seed need to sprout?Can a seed sprout with water?  What role does soil play in the life of a seed?  How does light help a seed?


Children are encouraged to take two plastic bags, place seeds in both, put a moist paper towel in one and a dry towel in the other bag.  They observe the bags after a few days.  The seeds in the wet bag should have sprouted. The children are encouraged to look closely at the sprouted seeds.  If they open the seed, they will observe a tiny plant or embryo, complete with leaf, stem, and root parts.  Water has enabled the seed to sprout.


Children discuss that seeds remain inactive until conditions enable them to germinate.  Water, oxygen, and the proper temperative enable seeds to germinate.



Home Pizza Garden Seeds Roots Stem Leaves Flowers Fruit

Outcomes::  Understand where seeds come from and learn about the structure of a seed..

Examine seeds from vegetables and fruits.

To understand that seeds are in fruits:  Scientists define fruit as the ripened seed-bearing structure of a plant.  Bean pods and apples are regarded as fruit.

Cut a tomato, a pea pod, and plum.  Examine the seeds.