Return to Biology Index
Anna Summers Henry Clay Elementary School
13231 S. Burley
Chicago IL 60633
The second grade students will count and sort seeds and find the likenesses and
differences of many seeds.
Small Dixie cups-one per group of 3-4 students: lima beans, kidney beans, pop
corn, sunflower seeds, garbanzo beans, black-eyed peas, etc., magnifying lens,
1.Students should be given background information about seeds:
Seeds are all different sizes and shapes and they come surrounded by all
different kinds of fruit. But all seeds are alike in two ways. Every seed
contains a little plant called an embryo. All seeds contain food that helps the
little plant grow.
All seeds are remarkable in the way in which they spread themselves in
order to grow new plants. Some seeds simply fall to the ground, others float on
water, some are fired like buckshot over a distance, and others attach to an
All seeds serve the same purpose, to germinate and grow a new plant in
order to perpetuate the plant species.
2. Provide an assortment of seeds. Mix the seeds together so the students can
be given a representative sample.
3. Place the students in groups of 3-4 and give each group a small cupful of
4. Have the students estimate how many seeds are in the cup.
5. Give each group a copy of the worksheet "Seed Sort".
6. The students will dump the cup of seeds into the circle in the middle of the
paper and sort the seeds into smaller sets of like kinds and put them in the
7. A record should be made of the name and number of seeds in each circle.
8. Then have the students add the smaller sets to get the total number of
seeds in the cup.
9. Have students use a magnifying lens to look closely at the seeds. What color
are they? Are there any that have two colors? The students can record their
answers on the worksheet "Observing Seeds".
10. Ask the students: What are the shapes of the seeds? Have them record by
drawing the shapes of the seeds in the shapes column.
11. Have the students guess how many seeds it will take to cover the line.
Lay the seeds on the line, count them and record.
12. The students will use the worksheet "Comparing Seeds" to weigh the seeds.
They should estimate how many seeds it will take to balance one gram and
then weigh the seeds and record the results. At the bottom of the page
record by coloring the graph.
The performance assessment will be the completion of the worksheets "Seed Sort",
"Observing Seeds", and "Comparing Seeds". As a result of completing required
tasks the student will obtain practice in measuring, counting, estimating, and
graphing. The scientific processes practiced in this activity are sorting,
classifying, observing, recording, and comparing. Evaluation will be based on
completion of each task.
Dr. George Washington Carver was a great scientist who found many ways to use
plants. He made more than 100 different things from corn. As an extension to
this exercise you may bring in different dishes prepared in the manner of
different ethnic groups. An example might be a preparation of a bean burito
which is a food prepared by the Hispanic culture.
Project Aims K-3, Primarily Plants, 1990.