Is there anything better than a classroom window sill filled with cups of soil and seeds?
We planted corn seeds and pea seeds as part of our math curriculum. We will measure and compare the plants as they grow. Every year, I am delighted at how excited students get as they dig into a bag of soil and scoop it out to place into a cup. They are amazed that the pea seed looks like a pea and the corn seed looks like corn.
During the year, we discuss seeds in other ways; with picture books, when we eat snacks, (seeds in the apples and cucumber slices) and in lessons related to the parts of a plant or the life cycle of tree.
But, there is something about planting a “real” seed that they get ridiculous about.
They understand a bit about the “how” – roots grow down, stems grow up, the seed has food for the growing plant, it needs sunlight and water.
However, the fact that you can plant a seed and it will grow is still a bit of a mystery to second graders. They have a real sense of wonder about seeds. There is nothing to plug in. No buttons to push. Nothing to program. No further directions. Nothing they can do to urge the little seeds along.
Plant a seed, water it, put it in the sun, hope for the best, and wait.
“It’s not just a cup of soil anymore.”
“There is something about to happen in there.”
“How long do you think it’s going to take?”
“I think the corn will grow up first, it’s really tall when I see it in the field.”
Some students are not sure it will really happen. But they are excited, hopeful and willing to wait.
Some of my favorite books about seeds to share with my students are:
A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Aston and Sylvia Long
If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson
A Seed Is The Start by Melissa Stewart
From Seed to Maple Tree: Following the Life Cycle by Laura Purdie Salas and Jeff Yesh
From Seed to Daisy: Following the Life Cycle by Laura Purdie Salas and Jeff Yesh