Let It Grow


Virginia T. O’Brien

Higgins Community Academy

11710 S. Morgan Avenue


(773) 535-5625




These activities are designed for students in grade three.  Students will identify the parts of a corn seed and a bean seed and understand their functions.  Students will identify the parts of the plants that they have grown and understand their functions.  Students will be able to compare characteristics of monocots and dicots.  Students will identify the parts of a perfect flower and understand the process of seed formation.   




Gallon size zip lock baggies (one per child), paper towels, nametags, corn seeds, bean seeds, spray water bottles, staplers, scotch tape, corn and any kind of  bean seeds soaked in water for 24 hours, peanuts. newspaper, magnifying glasses, hand held microscopes (optional), gladiolas (one per child), straight pins, samples of tomato and bean plant cuttings showing the flower and the early developing fruit, straight pins.




The first activity will be done two weeks prior to the other activities.  Each child will receive one large baggie, one paper towel, one nametag, two bean seeds and two corn seeds. Children will fit the paper towel into the baggie and then place the nametags at the top outside of the baggie.  Then they will place four staples through the baggie evenly spaced about 1½ inches from the bottom , horizontal to  the top of the baggie.  Next they will place each of their four seeds inside the baggie on top of a staple.  Then they will spray water into the baggies, wetting the paper towels and seeds.   Most of the air will be pushed from the baggies and they will be sealed. They will be taped to the window and observed regarding the germination and growth of roots, stems and leaves for the next few weeks.  A journal can be kept with pictures of daily growth and measurements can be recorded and graphed.


The second activity is as follows.  The children will be given a piece of newspaper, a magnifying glass, and a soaked bean and kernal of corn. Peeling the seed coat from the bean seed they will observe the seed’s two parts and find the embryo inside using the magnifying glasses.  Removing the seed coat from the corn is more difficult, but children will observe that the corn seed does not split into two parts.  The corn embryo will be located and the terms monocot and dicot will be introduced.  Have children take apart a peanut and identify it as a monocot or dicot. Have the children examine the seedlings in their baggies and look for other differences between monocots and dicots, for example parallel and netted veins in leaves.   Have them draw pictures of corn and bean seeds and corn and bean seedlings and label parts.  Have children use hand held microscopes to examine seedlings to find root hairs and stomates and draw what they find.


The third activity is as follows.  Children will observe tomato and bean plant cuttings with flowers and the beginnings of fruit formation present.  Pollination and the basic parts of a flower involved in seed formation, and the functions of each will be discussed.  E ach child will be given a gladiola or some other perfect flower and a straight pin.  The children will first  remove the sepal and the petals and look for pollen on the inside of the petals.  The male parts (the stamens) will be removed next, noting the pollen on their tips.  The female part (the pistil) will be identified and it’s tip felt for stickiness or moisture.  Using a straight pin, the ovary will be split open at the base of the pistil and  the ovules located. All flower parts will be examined using magnifying glasses and hand held microscopes.


Performance Assessment:


Journaling, including student generated drawings and oral and written observations, will be evaluated.  Specific parts to be assessed are seed, plant and flower parts and their functions.




Students will understand reproduction in flowering plants and with this knowledge will be ready to compare and contrast them to non-flowering plants.