Spring time is here with it's changing weather and new life everywhere you look. This year the saying April showers bring May flowers is very true. We are still waiting for the warmer weather and more sunny days, but we do get hints of this every so often.
This is the perfect time for planting seeds inside and watching them grow. Kids are always amazed to see the first sprouts and watch the little seed turn into a plant. These plants can also be taken and placed in the garden when the weather warms up.
I still hear from former students about the beans or tomatoes they harvested from their little seed that they planted in class.
Different ways to plant seeds
If you are looking to do more with your seed, there are various ways to plant it so that the kids can observe it's transformation. Here are some methods we used successfully in my classroom.
One method that was fun to do with my students was the CD case method. We took empty CD cases and added some soil and the seed into the case and then made sure that the soil was moist. We placed the cases in a dish rack in a sunny place. Periodically we added a little more water to keep them moist. The clear cases made it easy to see the seeds sprout. Once the leaves started to form, we transplanted the seedlings into pots so they could continue to grow.
Another method we used was peat pucks in a tray. We moistened the peat pucks so that they expanded, and then we placed the seeds in the center of the pucks. We kept them in a tray and watered them regularly so they didn't dry out. When they sprouted and started developing leaves we placed the puck in a pot with soil in it so they had more room to grow.
Planting seeds in eggshell pots is another great idea. They can be transplanted with the eggshells right into the garden when they are ready.
Of course, there is always the more traditional method of adding soil to a small pot or cup and placing the seed in the soil. This is easy to do and it saves transplanting the seedling multiple times. It also works well as a gift for mothers on Mother's Day.
What do plants need for growing?
There is more to planting the seed and just letting it grow if you want your students to understand what plants need and how plants grow. Sometimes this can be demonstrated by having a seed that doesn't get what it needs as a visual reminder. Perhaps it can be placed in a spot where it doesn't get sunlight, or maybe it can be left to dry out. Another option is to overwater it so that the seed rots and doesn't grow.
Here is a resource that helps kids to learn about plants and their needs. It uses pictures and a small written exercise to help kids understand. This will help them take steps to make sure their plants needs are met and that they grow into healthy plants.
To make growing plants more interesting, it helps to keep a journal of what is happening. I created this little observation journal for our bean plant and it was a great reminder of all that happened as the seed grew into a bean plant. I also created a more generic journal that can be used with other plants. You can get a copy here.
There are so many different types of plants that kids can grow and study. Learning about the different life cycles and how the different types of plants grow is surprising for some kids. You can check out several different plant life cycles and resources here.
I hope your students enjoy learning about plants as much as mine did. Happy planting!
About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.