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Seed to Seedling is the first spring lesson for Kindergarten.

The expandable rows below contain teacher resources and information about the lesson, the Activities that make up the Lesson start below this list.  Access to the Lesson requires registration, please create a user name and password (above) before proceeding to the Activities below.

In order for the children to be able to understand the complete life cycle of a plant, they will need to understand:

Where do we get seeds?

This usually leads to an interesting discussion. Once they know where we get seeds, they will then need to know that in order for a plant to grow it needs water and light. So the second question that the children will need to answer in this lesson is:

What does a seed need to grow?

In the beginning of the lesson, the children will plant a seed in the dirt of a peat pot that will need water to keep its soil moist. Once their seed has sprouted, their plant will need a sunny window to help it grow. During this time, two mini experiments will be set up. One plant in a peat pot will get very little water and a second seed in a peat pot will be deprived of direct sunlight. The children’s seeds that have been planted will be the control part of our experiment insuring these plants will be given the right amount of water and light.

A secondary purpose in this lesson is the ability to see first hand the beginning of the plant life cycle. Beginning to grow some plants indoors will serve this purpose. Starting some fruits and vegetables inside is helpful because some vegetables need a longer growing season than others. Starting these vegetables indoors will ensure that we will have the plants ready to go outside when the weather is warm enough to plant them in the Vegetable Garden.

It is a magical moment when the children first see the green tips of a seemingly lifeless seed bursting through the black soil on its way to becoming a living plant. Their eyes light up, and they want everyone to come and look at what is happening, beaming that they are partly responsible for those green shoots.

Link to The Inside of a Lima Bean Seed PDF

Link to Kindergarten is Growing PDF 

TIme lapse video of a lima bean seed:

• From Seed to Plant - a book by Gail Gibbons

• one package of pepper seeds – These seeds need to be bought. They need to be marked Non-GMO, Non-hybridized, organic or heirloom. Some companies have fiddled with seeds and now some seeds will not grow at all or will revert back to an early variety.

• an avocado seed, a sunflower seed, a peach seed, a bean or pea seed

• a big pepper, a bean and pea pod

• Bio Dome - The Boi Dome container is the easiest for kindergarten children to plant. It is the one that is used for this lesson. Complete Bio Dome directions are on pages 13 and
14 of this lesson. – Other containers that could be used are: nursery flats or trays, cardboard egg cartons, cut-down milk cartons, etc. One of the best containers to use is the biodegradable peat pots which can be planted right in the ground when it is time to plant the vegetables in the garden. Make sure that any container to be used has holes in the bottom for good drainage.

• 4 Jiffy Pots needed from a larger package

• one package of Lima bean seeds (hopefully used by all kindergartens if they plant about the same time)

• container to hold all Lima bean seeds covered in water

• laminated diagram of a seed

• roll of paper towels

• popsicle sticks for the child’s name to be placed in the peat pot where the seed was planted

• plant label — the empty seed package on a craft or popsicle stick

• plate for the seeds

• individual kindergarten journals: Kindergarten Is Growing

• Unifix cubes to measure the growth of seedlings

• 2 medicine droppers to be used for dispersing droplets of water

• for each kindergarten: 2 to 3 toilet paper roll tubes with a piece of foil to cover the top of the tubes which will cover the experimental plants that are receiving very little light

• a grow light

The classroom teacher will teach this lesson, possibly with the help of two volunteers.

The initial lesson is 45 minutes with journal entries requiring additional time as the plants grow, see the activities in the course content below.

Reserve a time for the lesson on the Google Calendar.

The classroom teacher may wish to obtain the volunteers for this lesson, ask the volunteers to bring up the Seed to Seedling kit and the Bio Dome Inspect the kit to make sure that all the needed seeds are there: pepper seeds — an avocado seed, a sunflower seed, a peach seed, a bean or pea seed and a big pepper and a bean and pea pod.

It would be advisable to have the lesson follow a recess or special period so the children would be out of the room to enable setting up materials for the lesson.

Schedule a planting time in the next two to three weeks to plant in the Vegetable Garden.

A month before planting time or immediately after all kindergarten and first grade Seed to Seedling lessons are completed: order the sponge plugs and fertilizer needed for next Spring’s planting in the Bio Domes from Park Seed:
Before inserting the sponges into the seed starter kit, the holders and trays need to be washed in a mild bleach solution — 1Tbsp/one gallon of water. Allow to air dry.
Purchase a package of Jiffy Pots (can also be ordered from Park Seed) - 4 will be needed in the lesson.
Purchase Pepper seeds enough for all Kindergartens. These seeds need to be bought. They need to be marked Non-GMO, Non-hybridized, organic or heirloom. Some companies have fiddled with seeds and now some seeds will not grow at all or will revert back to an early variety. If pepper seeds are not obtainable, the other seeds that could be used to plant indoors are: broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, cucumbers, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, eggplant, leeks, large onions, all types of lettuce.
Bring in seeds from: an avocado seed, a sunflower seed and a peach seed, if they were not left in the kit.
Bring in a pepper, apple, pea pod, and bean pod. Place the Lima beans in the container and fill it with lukewarm water just to cover the beans about 6 hours before the lesson
Before the lesson, help the teacher set up the necessary materials in the classroom. Set up the Bio Dome Seed Starting Kit. Directions for the kit are on pages 13 and 14 of this lesson.
To help make this procedure successful, volunteers will move the planted container of peat pots in the Bio Dome to be placed under the grow-light system.
On a rotating system (that needs to be developed), volunteers must check on the water level in the trays once a week and help the children measure the plant growth every five days and record their findings in their journals. At the same time, check the progress of the two experimental plants.
When planting is complete and before inserting the sponges into the seed starter
kit, the holders and trays need to be washed in a mild bleach solution — 1Tbsp/one
gallon of water. Allow to air dry.

A seed is the plant’s embryo that stores its initial food supply inside a protective coat until a combination of water, warmth, air, and sunlight come together and germination begins. Kindergarteners are expected to know that for germination to occur, seeds must have light and
water. Other needs will be discussed in future lessons.

germinate: biology definition as it concerns seeds: to begin to grow

biodegradable: capable of being decomposed by biological agents, especially bacteria

transplant: move or transfer embryo: the rudimentary plant usually contained in the seed seed coat: the outside layer of a seed

hypothesis: an idea or explanation for something that is based on known facts but has not yet been proved — a best guess

experiment: an operation or procedure carried out under controlled conditions in order to discover an unknown effect or law, to test or establish a hypothesis, or to illustrate a known law

predict: a statement about what will or might happen in the future


Early Spring; late April to Mother’s Day.
The lessons of Seed to Seedling and Making a Seed Tape need to be taught in a two week span.

Seed to Seedling in the Kindergarten Classroom:
This lesson is the beginning of a series of three kindergarten lessons and one first grade lesson that will show how a seed grows and produces a vegetable or fruit that can come to the child’s dinner table. Essential Questions: Where do we get seeds? and What does a seed need to grow? Children watch vegetable seeds grow in the classroom if they are given water and light.
Making a Seed Tape:
Essential Question: What is the best way to plant our seeds? Children learn that vegetables need the right amount of space to grow.
Planting in the George Washington Vegetable Garden:
Essential Question: Now that our plants are growing in the garden, how will our plants receive the basic needs that they must have to grow?  Children plant vegetable seedlings and seed tapes in the George Washington Vegetable Garden.
First Grade
Harvesting in the George Washington Vegetable Garden: (Two months later, as first-graders…)
Essential Questions: How do vegetables get to my dinner table? and Can the seeds from the vegetables I am harvesting be used for more plants? Children pick the vegetables and fruits that they have grown from seed. As they observe the many seeds that are present inside the fruits they have picked, they will have seen the life cycle of a seed. The new seeds will be stored to plant the vegetable garden again next Spring.

The purpose of the Living Classroom is to have children learn, through hands on experiences, the intricacies, the interdependencies, and the mysteries that exist in nature. The lessons will guide the children to understand the importance of being caretakers of our Earth in order to preserve our present and future ecosystems.

Disciplinary Core Ideas in the Next Generation Science Standards:

LS1.A: Structure and Function
All organisms have external parts. Different animals use their body parts in different ways to see, hear, grasp objects, protect themselves, move from place to place, and seek, find, and take in food, water and air. Plants have different parts (roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits) that help them survive and grow. (1-LS1-1)
LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms
Adult plants and animals can have young. In many kinds of animals, parents and the offspring themselves engage in behaviors that help the offspring to survive. (1-LS1-2)
LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
All animals need food in order to live and grow. They obtain their food from plants or from other animals. Plants need water and light to live and grow.(K-LS1-1)
LS3.A: Inheritance of Traits
Young animals are very much, but not exactly, like their parents. Plants also are very much, but not, exactly, like their parents.(1-LS3-1)
Connections to the Nature of Science:
Science Is a Way of Knowing Science knowledge helps us know about the world.
Scientists study the natural and material world.
Science investigations begin with a question.
Scientists use different ways to study the world.
Scientists use drawings, sketches, and models as a way to communicate ideas.
Common Core State Standards Initiative: Mathematics Kindergarten>> Measurement & Data
Describe and compare measurable attributes.
Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight. Describe several measurable attributes of a single object.