Seeds. What seemed like such a simple topic opened up so many teaching possibilities it was hard to know where to even begin! I realized after starting this that we could study seeds for a year and still have more to study. We tried our best to stick to a few topics, but my younger kids especially love tangents – something hard for me to turn down when they are showing an interest in learning!
Before you get started…
If you would like to incorporate any of these ideas into your daily lesson plans but you don’t already have a planner, there are several FREE resources that you can use:
- Joy at Five J’s Homeschool has a huge, all the bells-and-whistles planner on her web site.
- A free Charlotte Mason planner can be downloaded from My Humble Kitchen.
- If you prefer to set it up like a unit study, Hi5 Homeschool has a free unit study planner.
Our Featured Book
Our focus book was A Seed is Sleepy – one of my favorites because the illustrations are beautiful! If you can’t find a copy at your local library, you can view the book on You Tube. The publisher also provides a free teacher’s guide here.
After reading our featured book, we found some great activities (featured below) to extend the learning experience. We did NOT do everything on this list (although I think my kids would have been happy to do them all).
Discuss the adjectives used in A Seed is Sleepy. Look up the words in a thesaurus to find words with the same meaning. Interchange the new words in the story to see how they fit.
If you choose to do the scavenger hunt (listed under “Worksheets and Activities” below), use adjectives to describe the seeds in your collection.
Worksheets and Activities
Go on a seed scavenger hunt. A park or trail is a great place to do this. One fun method of seed collecting is to use the sock method. You can use the sock method and let your feet collect while you hunt with your eyes as well! If you plan to keep your seeds, you can sort them in an empty egg carton or ice cube tray.
Plant a garden in a glove (don’t forget to label each finger of the glove)!
Discover why seeds are needy.
For more in-depth study about seed dispersal, check out this activity pack with a seed dispersal game or use this activity and worksheet to go on a nature hunt for seeds so you can observe and categorize them.
If you are teaching multiple ages, these are some fun activities for a wider age range, including building your own seed!
Print and complete a word search.
Bible and Character Tie-Ins
The Bible is rich with lessons about sowing seeds, but we kept our character and Bible lesson tie-ins simple by putting our focus on 2 Corinthians 9:6 – 15 (concentrating on verses 6 – 11; feel free to select a different Bible translation after following the link if you need one that helps you children better understand the verses). We chose the subject of being a cheerful giver because prior to this study our family had been discussing the subject of giving.
We first talked about things that come from seeds and read The Giving Tree . Then we created our own apple tree as a reminder of the importance of giving. I printed a bare tree and let them put a fingerprint leaf or apple for every way we could think of to give to others. We also plan to use these apple templates to write down ideas to bless others and “pick” a blessing out of a blessing basket. Besides the normal gifts of time, money or necessities, here are a few suggestions for gifts of encouragement to others:
Bring some cheer to a friend or family member – or anyone who could use some encouragement – with these hand-made plantable hearts.
Attach whatever message of encouragement you desire with the above gifts and let the receiver know the growth from the seeds can be a reminder of your love and/or prayers for them.
Experiment with how a seed becomes a plant.
Learn about seed germination with an experiment.
Dissect a bean seed with this experiment.
Determine whether or not seeds need their coat.
Observe the different stages of a growing seed with this printable.
Create a pine cone bird feeder.
Design a seed-mosaic planter.
Art and Music
A Seed is Sleepy features watercolor illustrations. Learn to paint simple watercolor flowers using this video presentation; or for younger children use actual flowers to create simple watercolor flower prints.
Listen to the song The Farmer Plants the Seeds.
Watch a video about the different types of seed dispersal.
View more seed dispersal in exploding seed pods.
Watch a time lapse video of a seed growing into a sunflower.
Watch an acorn grow into an oak tree.
This is a longer video from Moody Science about a seed battling for survival.
Learn with Ms. Frizzle as The Magic School Bus Goes to Seed.
The Cat in the Hat teaches about seeds in I See Seeds.
Learn about the Svalbard Seed Vault (climate change/male seed/old earth are all briefly mentioned).
Online Interactive Activities
Older students can learn about seeds with these online lessons from Study Jams.
Use “Gizmos” to conduct online seed germination experiments (this site offers 5 free minutes per lesson each day).
Explore the cover art of vintage seed catalogs.
Older students can discover a wealth of information about the history of specific seeds as well as a multitude of uses for different seeds throughout history in these Seed Diaries.
Learn the history of the sunflower seed.
Read more about the war garden movement, promoted with the tagline “Sow the Seeds of Victory,” and then view the original movie used to promote Victory Gardens to see how seeds and gardening were promoted during World War 2. You can plant your own Victory Garden using this printable guide.
This online catalog from Victory Seed Company offers informative facts about different seeds, including the individual histories of many of the seeds offered for sale.
Read about the oldest seed ever germinated!
Try some honey-roasted cinnamon sunflower seeds. These can be used in a homemade trail mix or as a dessert topping.
If you’re looking for a seedy recipe that’s savory, try this sunflower seed (nut free) pesto!
Let your children create their own recipe incorporating seeds or items with seeds! Or find a favorite recipe that includes seeds/items with seeds and use it as part of your gift giving. Select some free recipe cards if you need them! (We made smoothies – simple and they love them!)
Additional Seed-Themed Books
If you can’t find A Seed is Sleepy, or if you prefer to use a different book and/or want to expand on the material, here is a list of other great book options:
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