Using “Super Seeds” Activities

Gather a variety of seeds for children to explore. If possible, have seeds that are commonly grown locally and that are from plants children eat.

As children look for ways to group seeds (and discover patterns and similarities), they are developing close observation skills and a sense of appreciation for the diversity of life.

As children use their bodies to mimic the life cycle of a seed (from planting to sprouting to growing), they are internalizing their understandings. (Real-life observations of seeds going through this cycle will be more meaningful to them)

When children look at photographs and then see the real object (in this case, seeds), they are developing an understanding of the relationship between two-dimensional and 3-dimensional objects.

As children sketch their ideas about seeds and plants, they are able to symbolically represent their understandings in a non-verbal format. Many young children are able to show what they know more easily than they can tell what they know.

Super Seeds (part one)

First, explore your seeds. Are they all the same kind of seed, or do you have many different kinds? Can you sort them by size (from smallest to LARGEST)? How else can you sort your seeds?

Now, pretend you are one of your seeds. (What kind of seed are you?) Can you make your body as small as possible–like a seed planted in soil? Pretend that you are beginning to grow from a seed into a plant. Can you make your arms reach up like a plant reaching for the sun?

Super Seeds (part two)

Look at these seeds and the plants they will become:

           

sunflower seeds                        sunflower

           

acorn                                      oak tree

           

corn                                                     corn on the cob

Do you know what kind of plant your seed will become? If you don’t know, how can you find out? Trying drawing a picture of your seed and the plant it will become?

Talk About It

Help children understand that most people all over the world eat bread each day that comes from seeds. This is something that all human beings share, no matter where they live. Ask children what they know about how bread is made. Offer them the opportunity to participate in the process of making bread from seed to loaf. (This process will help children feel more connected to the natural world and help them see how they fit into the cycle of life.)

Helping children understand that all humans need seeds for survival helps them develop an appreciation for what nature provides, and for the interconnectedness of life. Learning about and choosing locally grown food helps children develop a sense of place and will encourage responsible consumerism in the future. Have children check their seeds with an adult to make sure they are safe to eat.

Help children feel good about their explorations of seeds by sharing some of these positive messages:

Seeds grow into plants that all humans need to help us live.

It is important that we care for seeds and plants.

Eating bread made from seeds is something people do all over the world.

No matter where we live in our world, we are all thankful for the gifts nature provides (such as seeds we can use to make bread).

We appreciate the seeds that grow in our part of the world.

Fun Facts About Seeds!

Many people use seeds as food. Here are some popular kinds of seeds people eat:

Grasses such as: wheat, rice, sorghum, barley, millet

Legumes such as: peanuts, soybeans, peas, beans

What kinds of seeds do you eat?

*Content of article adapted from worldforumfoundation.org/nature, A toolkit for Early Childhood Programs

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