MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection > MnSTEP Activities > Seeds to Plants: How to Grow a Plant

Seeds to Plants: How to Grow a Plant

Sheri Brown, Cherry View Elementary School, Lakeville, MN
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In this Life Science activity, students will first determine and then create environment(s) for seed(s) to grow. Students will each work with a partner choosing which seed(s) they want to grow and then choose materials for planting and caring for them. Students will monitor their seed/plant(s) daily recording changes in their science notebooks. The activity will continue until students feel they have enough information to answer their questions at which time they will prepare a poster to share their findings with their fellow classmates.

Learning Goals

This activity is designed for students to:
- Raise their own questions about seeds and their growth
- Plan for results in a variety of ways
- Use prediction skills
- Develop data recording skills
- Communicate findings

Key concept: Plants have a life cycle.


-Life cycle
-Seed coat

Context for Use

This activity is being used in a first grade classroom at the beginning of the year. At this point most students will not have had experience with guided inquiry. After reflecting on a question of their choice students will be encouraged to "try" different ways to grow a seed, questioning whether or not there are different ways to achieve their goal. After the initial start of the activity, throughout the next 10 days or so, we will be reading a variety of children's trade books that relate to the topic of plant growth. Students will share and discuss questions and discoveries that they have as a result of their own findings.

Subject: Biology
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity
Grade Level: Primary (K-2)

Description and Teaching Materials

The activity will begin with asking students what they know about seeds growing into plants. Write their responses on the board. Next ask students what questions they have about how seeds grow into plants. Write these questions on the board. Have students think about the questions raised and then tell them that they are going to have an opportunity to get an answer to their questions by using any materials on the science table they wish. Introduce the materials. Students are to work with a partner and determine a question they want to get answer to, record that question and then make a plan to get their answer. Once students have made their plan they are free to go to the science table and begin preparing their project. Remind students that they are to monitor and record what is going on with their project using their science notebooks and that they will be sharing what they have discovered when they feel they have an answer to their question.

Materials supplied:
- Soil
- Mulch
- Sand
- Pebbles
- Rocks
- Seeds (various types)
- Paper towels
- Clear plastic cups
- Small clay pots
- Watering cans
- Spray bottles
- Grow lights
- Lamps
- Labels and markers
- Science notebooks

Teaching Notes and Tips

With first graders, especially early on in the year, there will need to be a great deal of directions as to the proper use of materials. Students will also need to be reminded that there is no wrong way to prepare their project, and that is okay to change their minds if they feel they need to. Continued reference to their question will be important. Ample time to observe and record will be important to the success of the activity. In the past the activity for this concept has been plant a seed and then watch it grow. Materials were limited and specific directions were given to plant it and care for it.


Students achievement will be determined by what they have recorded in their science notebooks and also by the information that they shared on their group poster. I will be looking for their question, data accumulation, and verbal response to their findings.


Content: Life Science
Standard: Observe plant and animal life cycles.
Benchmark: Observe and describe how plants and animals grow and change.

References and Resources