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  Lesson Plans
The "Seedier" Side of Plants

Cindy Jackson
OverviewProcedure for teachersStudent Resources and Materials
Grade Level
4-6
Time Alloment
 Four 45-minute class periods

Overview

Millions of seeds are produced from a variety of plants. The seeds are the beginning of life for future species of the same plant. The challenge to plant survival is moving the seed to a suitable germination site. Many plants disperse the seeds through wind, water, or unique vectors (animals that carry the seeds and pollen). Some plants are unique in their means of regenerating.

Through the Internet and video activities presented in this lesson, students will become familiar with the parts of the plant and methods of seed dispersal. In addition, students will serve as a vector to pick up seeds and analyze the variety of items accumulated in the process.


Learning Activities

Students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate seed dispersal vectors through role-play
  • Analyze seed types
  • Identify plant parts
  • List seven conditions plants need in order to grow
  • Describe how seeds travel

Standards

New York State Learning Standards for Science
http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/nses/html/6d.html

Standard A
Develop abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry; understandings about scientific inquiry.

Standard C
All students should develop understanding of structure and function in living systems; reproduction and heredity; regulation and behavior; populations and ecosystems, and; diversity and adaptations of organisms.


New York City Middle School English-Language Arts Standards
http://www.nycenet.edu/dis/standards/ELA/es/23overview.html

Standard E1c: Reading
Read and comprehend informational materials


Media Components

Video:

Nature #1609: The Seedy Side of Plants

Web sites:

The Great Plant Escape
http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/gpe/case1/c1facts2a.html
This is a tutorial site instructing students on the parts of the plant. It is followed by a quiz to test the students' comprehension of the information presented in the tutorial. The site also offers many other tutorials instructing students on various facts about plants.

Thompson-Morgan Seed Company
http://www.thompson-morgan.com/seeds/us/index.html
This site offers a variety of seed types for use in the classroom. There are pictures available to demonstrate to students what a given seed would look like after complete growth.

Garden Launch Pad
http://gardeninglaunchpad.com/kids.html
Students may need ideas for the Culminating Activity where they create their own themed planters. This site provides links to many science-based and gardening Web sites that can help students develop their ideas. It is not only helpful for the Culminating Activity of this lesson, but also quite useful in helping students with other science fair ideas.


Materials

Per student:

  • 1 old sock (if socks are not available, use a piece of cloth with a rubber band)
  • 2 Ziploc baggies
  • Paper towels
  • Water
  • Handout #1
  • Handout #2
  • Handout #3
  • Handout #4
  • Pencil
  • Hand lens
Per group of 4:
  • Pot or pan
  • Soil (enough to fill the pot)
  • Seeds, a variety of types (Some suggestions of seeds to use: bean, radish, pumpkin, or pea seeds. Order active seeds to ensure a successful experiment.)
  • Water