Activity #2: Identify Lima Bean Parts & Plant Seeds (20 min)

 Activity #2: Identify Lima Bean Parts & Plant Seeds

Give each child a soaked Lima bean and a paper towel. Ask the parent volunteers to help the children open their Lima bean seed.

“What do you think is happening in this seed?”

“It does look like the seed is beginning to grow leaves. 

Point to each part and describe. (The Inside of a Lima Bean Seed PDF)

The seed coat is a protection for the seed. The food store is exactly what its name suggests – food for the new plant. The embryo is the new plant beginning to form. It will soon send out a stem and that stem will have leaves. It is the beginning of a new plant. This is called germination”

“Do you think that is what is going to happen in your seed?”

“Let’s look at where you will be planting your seed. Besides planting your seed in this soil in the containers, is there anything else that your seed will need so the embryo in your seed can grow?” 

“Do you know what your plant needs to grow?”

If they do not come up with water, show them the container of Lima bean seeds soaking in water.

Once your seed is planted in the soil and receives the water that it needs, your seed can begin to germinate or begin to grow. It will need food which is another necessary thing a plant needs to live. As you saw in the Lima bean, the seed can find food right inside of itself.”

Give every child a pepper seed and demonstrate how the seeds should be planted.

“You can see that on the table we have soil in a container. Each one of you will plant a seed and place your popsicle stick with your name in the container. You have now given your seed another thing that it needs to grow – its own space.” 

“Isn’t there something else that your plants need?“

If the children do not respond with sunlight or warmth, ask them:

“Where in your house would you put a plant, near a window or in a dark corner?”

A window would be a good choice in order for your plants to get enough light. If you have a set of grow lights in your classroom, these are the best to use.

“Now, we need to put our plants under this set of lights [or at this window] so that our plants will receive both warmth and light. When we begin to see little green leaves poke up from the soil, this is the beginning of germination when the plant begins to grow. These plants will be our control group as we control the right amount of warmth and light that they receive.”

The children will be watching their plant daily and when the first leaves grow, the first journal entry is made in Kindergarten is Growing journal.

“About every five days, you will measure your seedling and record how much they have grown in your new journal Kindergarten Is Growing. When it is time, you will transplant your plants into the Vegetable Garden. You can come to visit the garden all through the summer and watch your plants grow. When you come back to school in the Fall, you will be in first grade. It will also be time to harvest the vegetables that you have grown. We take all the vegetables to the Food Pantry so that someone who cannot get fresh vegetables is able to do so.”

“Look at what we have done today! You have planted seeds and have found that they need water, light, food, and we even gave each of them their own space. Are you wondering about anything so far?” 

If they do not have any questions, move on.