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Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) addressed in this packet:
Grade K: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems: Animals, Plants, and the Environment
K-LS1-1: Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals need to survive.
K-ESS3-1: Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animals and the places they live.
Grade 2: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
2-LS2-1: Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow.
I love doing this lab with my students! They are always amazed at the teeny tiny plant they find inside of the lima beans and they love making beanstalk castles!
For this lab you will need a bag of dry lima beans.
To introduce my students to the topic of seeds, I project the 4 slides in this packet onto my classroom whiteboard. We discuss each slide and then I give everyone a dry lima bean and a ruler. We fill out the worksheet “Dry Bean Observations” - make our observations, take measurements, and soak the beans in water overnight. The next day, we observe what happened to the bean and fill out worksheet entitled, “Wet Bean Observations”. How did the seed change? After making observations and filling out the accompanying worksheet, it is time to carefully open the seeds. Inside, students will see a baby plant. Hand out magnifying lenses if you have them in your classroom – that little plant has everything it needs in order to start growing – amazing!
Your students will love making the little seed-shaped booklet identifying all the parts of the seed. Patterns included.
After your class has thoroughly examined the interior and exterior of our seeds, do a class experiment to find out under which condition the seeds grow best – direct sunlight, indirect sunlight, cold, darkness. Lima beans are grown in plastic Ziplock baggies so students can observe germination and growth. Students should record their results on the accompanying worksheet. Once they find out which condition leads to the fastest and best growth, they can make their own castle to attach to a baggie of beans. Grow a beanstalk that will lead to a castle in the clouds! Worksheet with growth chart included. Beans can take anywhere from 3-18 days to germinate. They need a warm location. I just did the experiment and within 2 days, my indirect and direct sunlight beans germinated. I kept them in my classroom which is room temperature, about 68-70 degrees.
When the bean plants become too large for the baggie, transplant to pots and soil. I’ve included tiny castles for your students to color. They can attach to a straw and place into the dirt next to their beanstalk! Have fun learning about seeds and the needs of plants!
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Sue from Science for Kids :)