- Identify the individual parts of a seed
- Describe the function of each part of a seed
As humans, we rely on our parents for nearly everything we need in the early years. As teenagers, we come into our own and begin to develop some skills that move us towards self-sufficiency. But did you know that most plants produce seeds that contain everything they need to germinate, sprout, and grow into mature plants on their own! With few exceptions, plants produce seeds that have everything they need to survive and flourish without any help from the parent plants.
Each seed is packaged with a survival kit that contains the DNA coding to tell the seed what to grow into, a protective coating to hold out for the perfect conditions, a food ration, and a stem, root, and leaves to make it through the early days of growth. The tiny seed is a self-sustaining vessel of possibility that requires very little more than the ideal temperature and appropriate moisture to kickstart the process of growth.
Each part of the seed has a specific role and is designed to do its job very efficiently under the proper environmental conditions. The seed is truly a natural wonder and there is much we can learn from it.
Tools & Materials
- Small samples of various seeds that have been sprouted
- Magnifying glasses
- Anatomy of a Seed - printed or displayed
Introduction (10 minutes)
Begin this lesson with the following question: “How many parts does a seed have?” Give the Students a few seconds to guess and then introduce the answer (five primary parts) with the rendering of the anatomy of a seed. Differentiate between monocot and dicot seeds as you review the function of each part of the seed. Explain that seeds contain everything they need internally to sprout with the exception of heat, oxygen, and moisture.
Activity (20 minutes)
Prepare for this lesson a few days to a week in advance by sprouting seeds in jars. Present the Students with a sample of various seeds that have sprouted in small jars. Have them touch the sprouts and examine each variety with their magnifying glasses. Name each seed and have them try to identify the five parts.
Discussion (10 minutes)
Seeds look different from each plant so what role does the “size” of the seed play? Will bigger seeds produce bigger plants? How long do you think dormant seeds can remain viable? Could we grow something from seeds that are 800 years old?
Assessment (5 minutes)
Use the following questions to assess the Students before and after the lesson. Tally the responses of the group in the Assessment Tracking Log for comparison:
- By a show of hands, how many of you know what’s inside a seed?
- Now that you know the five parts of a seed and the function they serve, raise your hand if you think you could explain it to someone else.
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